After an unexpected pole position on Sunday, Carlos Checa (X-lite X-802) finished a difficult American weekend with two amazing wins. With two goals in mind, Checa took the moral victory and regained what had been “stolen” from him at the circuit last year (two retirements due to mechanical problems when he was on course to win both the races) racking up more important points on his opponents who all seemed to struggle on the US track.
In Race 1 it took Carlos a few laps to take the lead (6, to be precise), but when he succeeded there was no contest anymore. In Race 2 Checa made an excellent start and immediately forced the pace; after taking a decent advantage, he took control of the entire race winning his sixth victory of the season.
“Two amazing wins today, especially after what happened to us here last year. In Race 1 I rode cautiously during the first laps as the conditions were a little mixed but after a while I found good feeling with my bike and was really able to push. The bike really behaved well despite the slightly strange conditions. I was able to pass those ahead of me, though it wasn’t easy, and then I tried hard to build an advantage. In the final stages I stayed calm, controlled the margin and I did it! It was really funny because as I was returning to parc ferme’, I saw some fans who wanted to give me a flag so I went “offroad” to get it only to find thick mud which caused me to crash – the happiest crash of my life I would say! The feeling that I had with the bike improved for race 2 and I could really enjoy the race. A wonderful day, especially for my team and for Ducati. I want to thank everybody, my team, Ducati and the sponsors. This was not only a double victory but a moral victory.”
It was a difficult race for Marco Melandri (Nolan X-802); despite his third-place finish on the grid, he grappled with his first time out on the American circuit eventually bringing home, after a tough weekend, only a 10th and a 6th place which certainly did not satisfy him.
“It was a very difficult day all round. In race one I got off to a good start but I touched Haga at the beginning and let several riders fly by. After a few laps I hit the kerb-stone with the engine cover and the bike leaked a bit of oil on the gearshifter so I had difficulty preventing my foot from slipping. Mid race I also had a problem with the front tyre which seemed to move and it wasn’t easy to keep the bike stable. Race two was another difficult race, the worst for me this year. I couldn’t perform and prove my potential at any stage. I had set up issues from the very beginning especially on entering curves. I did my best to find a consistent race pace but it was impossible. This isn’t the type of race I should be doing as this way you don’t win championships.”
“Well done” to our Ayrton Badovini (X-lite X-802), who continued his apprenticeship in this category, conquering seventh and ninth position. He rode a clever, aggressive race showing strong determination.
"I am happy, more with race 2 than race 1. I was put to the test physically and I must say that I responded well. I am satisfied with the race pace and I can say that we have grown from the very beginning of the season. The guys were terrific throughout the weekend. The only thing I still miss is a good race start so now we will work hard on that. "
The championship now sees Carlos Checa in first place with 195 points, second Marco Melandri with 134 and Badovini twelfth with 51 points.
Next race Misano (San Marino - Italy), June 12.