Carlos Checa - Photo Credit: Althea Racing

Carlos Checa - Photo Credit: Althea Racing

 

Carlos Checa was pleased with the progress made on Friday at Imola despite finishing the first qualifying session down in seventh place. The reigning champion doesn't feel the true pecking order was reflected today as Jakub Smrz topped the timesheets and believes small margins will make the difference in Superpole.

Turning his attentions to tomorrow, Checa is looking to improve his race performance in final practice before doing battle for a place on the front row.

“Tomorrow we'll work more on race pace but, considering the fact that the conditions of this particular track tend to improve over the weekend, I'm feeling confident. We are, as usual, very close in terms of times but some of the frontrunners have only done a couple of flying laps so it's doesn't tell us very much really. Even here, a track that should be more 'Ducati-friendly', we are seeing the difference with regard to top speed but there's not much we can do about that. We'll see tomorrow. A lot will depend on track conditions and tyres but, as I said, I'm feeling good about things.”

Althea Racing teammate Davide Giugliano was only 11th fastest on the sister Ducati but with the field being so close, he still feels he is in for a strong weekend.

“This morning I didn't rush into things, I saw that on new asphalt it was more sensible to take things slowly and work on the bike. This afternoon went really well, my head and my bike were both in a good place and I was able to make some good laps. I wanted to try a different tyre as I thought that with that I could have gone better but today I'm satisfied, also because we're only seven tenths from pole and that is very encouraging.”