Checa demands Honda power

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Spanish veteran Carlos Checa has reiterated his long-running calls to Honda for a horsepower upgrade after his disappointing finish in last weekend’s Spanish GP.

Checa has complained about Honda’s new RC212V horsepower problems since he made his debut on the new V4 at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia back in November (2006).

And he has continued his pleas this week, echoing fellow RC212V rider Marco Melandri’s demands for Honda to act fast with new performance parts.

Checa had qualified on the front row of the grid for the first time since 2005 in Jerez, and was in impressive form to set the best time in the first three free practice sessions.

But that was about as good as it got for Checa, whose two previous GP victories came in Barcelona and Jarama, as he slumped to a frustrating sixth place.

Once he’d dropped to sixth at the end of the first lap he was unable to break free from a battle, which included Casey Stoner, Toni Elias and Marco Melandri.

And it was obvious where the Spaniard blamed some of his problems. His LCR Honda was the second slowest bike on track in Spain, with his V4 clocking a best weekend speed of 169.38mph.

Only Sylvain Guintoli’s Yamaha was slower on the straight, and Checa said: “I am angry because my bike is the slowest Honda on the grid and I need more speed.

“This would be useful because if I had the speed then I wouldn’t have to take so many risks in the corners to overtake people.”

Checa didn’t only blame the horsepower issue for his Jerez display. The 34-year-old also blamed a hard rear tyre choice for hampering his challenge at the front.

In hotter conditions on Friday and Saturday, Checa’s preferred tyre worked perfectly, but in cooler conditions for the race he struggled.

“The track temperature wasn’t the same as Saturday and we didn’t expect this. But also I have to admit I wasn’t pushing as hard as I should.

“But we made a mistake with the hard tyre. The problem is the other compound was too soft, so for the race distance we would have been in trouble,” added Checa.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt