After deciding to pull out of the last World Superbike round at Monza due to an osseous edema on the head of the humerus of his left shoulder, Alstare Ducati’s Carlos Checa feels ready to return to action for the fifth round of the championship, that will take place at Donington Park this upcoming weekend.
After undergoing treatment and physiotherapy the Spaniard feels much stronger and is ready to climb back on his Ducati 1199 Panigale.
“Having been forced to sit out of the Monza races I’m really looking forward to being back on the bike at Donington. I’ve been working hard to get back to full fitness and have carried on with the treatments recommended to me by the specialists. I’m feeling much stronger and am optimistic ahead of the next races,” said the former World champion.
Due his injury Checa was also forced to miss the private test that Ducati held at Mugello the other week - Ayrton Badovini tested and so did Niccolò Canepa who will ride as a wildcard for the team - that was organized after Alstare team owner Francis Batta publically aired his grievances with the Italian manufacturer over his lack of involvement in the development of the superbike.
The historic Monza circuit will be hosting the fourth round of the World Superbike championship this upcoming weekend, however Ducati Alstare rider Carlos Checa will be heading to the temple of speed with some doubts regarding his fitness and with the knowledge that it will be another tough round, because the Panigale will be struggling against the four cylinders again, even if Ducati will now be allowed to use a 52mm air restrictor.
The former World Champion was banged up pretty badly at Phillip Island first in practice and then in race 1 where he suffered a concussion, and later discovered he discovered he had a pair of cracked bones in his right foot.
Crashing a go-kart during a pre-race event at Assen left him bruised again and to add insult to injury he was also stung by a bee during the race and started to have shoulder problems.
Checa had a medical check-up following the Assen round which revealed that he had an osseous edema on the head of the humerus of the left shoulder, an injury that were probably a result from a previous trauma and which has worsened and become inflamed as a result of effort made during the races.
To celebrate the 20 years of World Superbike Championship racing Francis Batta’s Alstare team and its return to World Superbikes, they had this concept done by Belgium designer Serge Rusak from Rusak Kreaktive Designworks while the video is by Tryptik Studio.
This concept Superbike is dubbed 7 Carlos Checa Ed. 2013 and display’s highly unique and wicked looking ‘cutting edge’ front forks, sculpted deflectors, a suspended chassis, Brembo brakes and a hidden Termignoni exhaust.
The sound in the video is a twin cyclinder, so this could be a very extreme rendering of the team’s Ducati 1199 Panigale, even if the project was started three years ago according Ducati Alstare’s Facebook page.
Carlos Checa and team mate Ayrton Badovini are almost back to full fitness and with a two-day private test under the belt at Jerez last week, the two Alstare Ducati riders are hoping that the Assen round will give them more luck than the disappointing Aragon weekend.
The Ducati 1199 Panigale (but all the twin cylinders) suffers on circuits that have lengthy straights like Aragon and Monza losing out on top speed compared to the four cylinders, but Assen should be much more Ducati friendly, even if the Spaniard has only won once at the Dutch circuit in 2011.
“I hope that the tests we carried out in Jerez after the race in Aragon bear fruit this weekend at Assen. Those two days were very important and in The Netherlands, on a track that is traditionally less problematic for the Ducati, maybe we’ll be able to make some good progress. I feel fit and healthy but the unknown at Assen is always the weather – I’ve seen some wet forecasts already so we need to work to be prepared come Sunday, whatever the conditions,” said Checa.
Ayrton Badovini hopes to be physically stronger at Assen following his injuries sustained at Phillip Island last February. The Italian was won at Assen but that was back in 2010 when he was still in the Superstock championship.
“I’ve been up up at my parents’ place and working with my personal trainer during the last days, so I should be stronger when I get to Assen. It’s a track that I like, and where I hope we’ll suffer a little less as far as the riding characteristics of the bike are concerned. I’m feeling confident, also because during the recent tests at Jerez we identified a few things that weren’t working with my riding style and we started to understand what I prefer. So in Assen we’ll have a clearer idea as to how to prepare my bike,” said Badovini.
Team Ducati Alstare concluded two important days of private testing at Jerez de la Frontera, working on the development of 1199 Panigale ahead of the third round of the World Superbike season that will take place at Assen in ten days time (April 26-28).
Luckily for Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini they found a very sunny and warm Jerez (32°C) with the surface of the track reaching 55°C, and were able to complete the scheduled test program focusing on set-up and traction and both riders seemed satisfied with the results.
‘These were two very important days that we used to better understand the bike’s reactions. The weather helped us this time around too. We worked on different solutions for both the front and rear setting and in the end I’m happy with what we were able to get done. We’ve found a set-up that I like and this is important in order to have a good base from which to start at Assen,’ said Checa.
While Ayrton Badovini said, ‘This test was key and allowed us to work on the bike and improve sensation. We’ve worked particularly on traction, to sharpen the bike on used tyres and maintain constant grip, which was my main problem at Aragon. We’ve tried different solutions and collected information that will be useful at Assen. I’m pleased with the work we’ve completed and look forward to next week’s races.’
While the Ducati MotoGP factory team will be racing in Austin this weekend, their test team in currently at Jerez de la Frontera for another three-day test along with World Superbike riders Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini and Aprilia test rider Alex Hofmann.
Michele Pirro is testing further development work done on the ‘laboratory GP13 bike’ which will probably be the basis of the ‘brand new’ Ducati Desmosedici that is expected to debut this summer, and we saw during the Sepang test and that Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden also got a taste of during the last pre-season test at the Spanish circuit.
Pirro is also preparing for his first of three wildcard rides with the Italian manufacturer, and will be racing in the Jerez GP next month.
According to a certain Kini Garcia on Twitter (Tuesday) unofficial lap times so far see Hofmann lapping with the Aprilia RSV4 in 1,43, Checa and Badovini with the Panigale in 1,44, while Pirro and Battaini are around 1,43 and 1,44 respectively.
Alstare Ducati riders Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini knew that the start of the 2013 World Superbike season would be tough, especially debuting a new machine, but they probably didn’t expect a round like Phillip Island with both of them ending up with injuries, and this past weekend’s second round at Motorland Aragon, Checa bruised himself again during the pre-event go-kart race and during the race he also had the bad luck of being stung by a bee.
Even if Ducati did sent two riders to test the Panigale for three days at Aragon ahead of the race, the team’s results in both races were disappointing. Checa scored a seventh and eighth place while Badovini rode to two tenth spots.
Race tracks that have very long straights has never gone down well with Ducati’s twins as they have never had the top speed of the four cylinders - at Aragon they were down over 20km/h - but they usually recover some tenths in the twisty part of the circuits, but this time, even on the corners, the Panigale was having issues (it seems to be a common problem even for Ducati in MotoGP). To try to remedy the situation both Checa and Badovini will be testing at Jerez this weekend.
After the jump you can read what Checa and Badovini had to say following yesterday’s double header.
At the recent Grand Prix of Aragon, second round of the World Superbike Championship 2013, Spanish rider Carlos Checa debuted a new graphic scheme for his famous X-Lite X-802R helmet. The 2011 SBK World Champion has in fact decided to change the visual impact of his helmet after his ugly in the first round of the season, the Australian GP (which also involved an innocent Marco Melandri) in an attempt to emphasize the strong emotional charge that that unfurtunate event had on him.
The basic design inspired by the ‘planet earth’ that has graces the helmet of the Spaniard since 2010 remains almost unchanged, but the new 2013 version is distinguished by the contrasting black/white color scheme and by the addition of a quite few decorative elements that are typical of the various continents, including and the stamps for the visas that Checa collected collected throughout his 20-year long career.
On top of the helmet, the “Rose of the Winds” is still there, though in the new version it has been enriched by the words “Checa World” written in red in order to emphasize the affinity of the helmet with the rider even further. Overall, the visual impact of these graphics provides for an accentuated ‘three-dimensional’ effect thanks to the refined balance between the colors and the depicted subjects.
Alstare’s Francis Batta got a big scare yesterday afternoon at the Motorland Aragon circuit, when his rider Carlos Checa, who is still recovering from his foot fracture picked at Phillip Island, crashed his go-kart during the yesterday’s World Superbike media event at the Spanish circuit.
Eugene Laverty, Michel Fabrizio, Chaz Davies, Leon Haslam, Loris Baz, and Supersport riders Kenan Sofuoglu and Nacho Calero Perez, all took part in the special event, however Checa dramatically crashed out during the fourth lap of the kart race at the last turn, fortunately the Spaniard wasn’t injured and later was able to take part in the pre-race press conference.
The race was won by Michel Fabrizio followed by Loris Baz and Chaz Davies.
World Superbikes returns to action later this morning at Aragon for the first free practice.
Carlos Checa’s first round of the 2013 season at Phillip Island was bittersweet. The Ducati Alstare rider spent the pre-season unofficial test in the hospital with intestinal problems, during practice he crashed and then he went on to take the pole position, but in race 1 he had a big crash after missing his braking mark, apparently caused by a sudden pain in his foot (it was only later that he revealed that he suffered two cracked bones and ligament damage) sustaining a concussion that required him to spend the night in a Melbourne hospital.
Nolan who sponsors Checa, has released these photos on their Facebook page of his helmet following the race 1 crash, and while the outside of the lid looks to be just very badly scratched with the back vent slightly ripped out, it’s the inside, with the lining and outer shell removed that you can see the cracks and indentations on the X-Lite X-802R and what it absorbed after Checa’s head impacted with the asphalt.
Scary isn’t it.