Carlos Checa can't wait to get back down to business when the World Superbike Championship returns at Imola this weekend. The defending champion had a mixed weekend in Australia five weeks ago with a crash in the first race followed by a virtuoso win in the second, leaving him 20 points adrift of Max Biaggi.
The Spaniard has fond memories of racing at Imola and expects his Ducati 1098R to be competitive this weekend.
“I'm feeling good after a month off. I've been skiing these last days, having a bit of fun, and now I feel ready to get back on track. We have good references at Imola of course but we need to see how we are doing compared to our rivals. I'm feeling confident, because it's a good track for the Ducati and also a track that I really like (I've won three of the last four races). I have some great memories of last year's event – great emotions, great fans – and I hope it is the same again this time around. I always enjoy racing at historic tracks like Imola, and to do well there is always extremely satisfying.”
Like Checa, Althea Racing teammate Davide Giugliano has been busy during the break between events as he looks to overcome the arm pump problem which affected him in Australia. The Italian admits he won't know how fit he really is until he rides the bike in anger this weekend.
“I've done what physical training I can for the upcoming race but I'm still suffering from inflammation of the arm, which caused me problems during the Phillip Island round. We'll have to see how that holds up this weekend when I get on the bike. But I really like the Imola track and I love racing at home in Italy, so I hope to be able to make two strong races come Sunday.”