Checa Hits Back for Ten Kate Honda

By Mike Nicks -

World Superbikes

 03 April 2009 14:22

Carlos Checa gave a hint in the first free practice session that the chatter problems that have plagued the Ten Kate Hondas in early rounds of the World Superbike Championship may have been overcome for this third round at Valencia.

Checa languishes in 14th place in the championship, but got round the 2.487-mile Ricardo Tormo circuit in 1m 35.673s on the CBR1000 to head the 30-strong field. This was just 0.068s better than Yukio Kagayama on the Alstare Suzuki.

Max Biaggi again demonstrated the early competitiveness of Aprilia’s new V4 contender, finishing third fastest in only the bike’s third race meeting, ahead of Ryuichi Kiyonari on a second Ten Kate Honda.

Championship leader Noriyuki Haga was ninth fastest on his Xerox Ducati, two places ahead of the fastest Brit, Tom Sykes on the Yamaha R1. It was a steady start to the weekend for the rest of the Brits, Leon Haslam finishing 12th quickest on the Stiggy Honda, with Jonathan Rea (Ten Kate Honda) 14th, Shane Byrne Sterilgarda Ducati) 18th and Tommy Hill (Altea Honda) 28th best.

WSB new boy John Hopkins finished 16th best on his Stiggy Honda, but this was only 0.873s slower than Checa’s pace.

1. Carlos Checa SPA Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR 1min 35.673 sec
2. Yukio Kagayama JPN Suzuki Alstare Brux GSX-R1000 1min 35.741 sec
3. Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia Racing RSV4 1min 35.805 sec
4. Ryuichi Kiyonari JPN Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR 1min 35.839 sec
5. Michel Fabrizio ITA Ducati Xerox 1198 1min 36.027 sec
6. Jakub Smrz CZE Guandalini Racing Ducati 1198 1min 36.110 sec
7. Max Neukirchner GER Suzuki Alstare Brux GSX-R1000 1min 36.160 sec
8. Broc Parkes AUS Kawasaki World Superbike ZX-10R 1min 36.205 sec
9. Noriyuki Haga JPN Ducati Xerox 1198 1min 36.221 sec
10. Regis Laconi FRA DFX Corse Honda CBR1000RR 1min 36.369 sec
11. Tom Sykes GBR Yamaha WSB YZF R1 1min 36.398 sec
12. Leon Haslam GBR Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR 1min 36.407 sec
13. Troy Corser AUS BMW Motorrad S1000RR 1min 36.450 sec
14. Jonathan Rea GBR Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR 1min 36.599 sec
15. Shinya Nakano JPN Aprilia Racing RSV4 1min 36.643 sec
16. John Hopkins USA Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR 1min 36.646 sec
17. Ben Spies USA Yamaha WSB YZF R1 1min 36.690 sec
18. Shane Byrne GBR Sterilgarda Ducati 1198 1min 36.791 sec
19. Brendan Roberts AUS Guandalini Racing Ducati 1198 1min 36.802 sec
20. Karl Muggeridge AUS Celani Suzuki GSX-R1000 1min 37.045 sec
21. Makoto Tamada JPN Kawasaki World Superbike ZX-10R 1min 37.419 sec
22. David Salom SPA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1min 37.446 sec
23. Ruben Xaus SPA BMW Motorrad S1000RR 1min 37.527 sec
24. Luca Scassa ITA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1min 37.690 sec
25. Ayrton Badovini ITA PSG-1 Kawasaki ZX-10R 1min 38.055 sec
26. David Checa SPA Yamaha France GMT 94 Ipone YZF R1 1min 38.058 sec
27. Vittorio Iannuzzo ITA SCI Honda CBR1000RR 1min 38.299 sec
28. Tommy Hill GBR Hannspree Althea Honda CBR1000RR 1min 38.344 sec
29. Roland Resch SWI TKR Suzuki Switzerland GSX-R1000 1min 38.709 sec
30. Matteo Baiocco ITA PSG-1 Kawasaki ZX-10R 1min 39.124 sec