Checa completed the double in the World Superbike Championship’s return to the US at the Utah track June 1, putting him back on top of the podium for the first since winning the 1998 Madrid Grand Prix.
“Well, I didn't have to wait ten years for another win, it was just two hours!” says Checa. “For sure it's a special day today, but after all the tough work we did until now, the two victories came and this is one of the happiest days for me in this moment.”
The victories also helped Honda gain a significant milestone. When Checa’s Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR crossed the finish line in the second race, the Japanese manufacturer earned its 100th World Superbike win.
The first race was shortened by a lap when Ducati Xerox’s Michel Fabrizio suffered a gear problem on the starting grid, forcing a restart. Checa, who started from the pole, stumbled at the start and had to switch to his second bike. He regained the lead on the fourth lap and held on for the win. Yamaha Motor Italia’s Troy Corser finished 2.809 seconds back while Fabrizio overcame his early difficulties to finish third.
It took longer for Checa to establish his lead in the second race. Altare Suzuki rider Max Neukirchner led from the early going until Checa passed him on lap nine. Checa would hold off Neukirchner for the win while Fabrizio followed up with another third-place finish.
The two wins put Checa in second place in the championship standings with 166 points. He now trails series leader Troy Bayliss by 28 points.
The Ducati Xerox rider had a miserable weekend. Bayliss went down in the first race and had a problem with his 1098 F08’s gear lever in the second.
“Although I got a good start, after a few laps something came loose with the gear shifter so I had to come in. We sorted it quickly enough that I thought I might as well go out and ride, even if it was impossible to get points. I was going well out there but I was too far behind to make up any places,” says Bayliss who finished race two in 22nd place. “It goes without saying that after all our hard work this weekend I’m really disappointed that we’ve given away 50 championship points in one weekend.”
|1.||Carlos Checa||Honda CBR1000RR||37:04.991|
|3.||Michel Fabizio||Ducati 1098 F08||+6.546|
|4.||Max Neukirchner||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+7.764|
|5.||Fonsi Nieto||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+16.475|
|1.||Carlos Checa||Honda CBR1000RR||38:44.105|
|2.||Max Neukirchner||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+3.547|
|3.||Michel Fabizio||Ducati 1098 F08||+6.613|
|4.||Max Biaggi||Ducati 1098 RS 08||+7.878|
|5.||Yukio Nagayama||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+10.568|