Checa tops Valencia test, Byrne third fastest

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Spaniard Carlos Checa was the surprise fastest man at the weather affected two day test at Valencia this week.

Riding for the all new Althea Ducati squad alongside Brit Shane Byrne, Checa set an impressive 1’33.8s lap using one of Pirelli’s development tyres.

Factory Ducati man Noriyuki Haga was second, just edging about Byrne who was the only front running rider who set his lap time on standard Pirelli race rubber.

Italian Michel Fabrizio claimed fourth ahead of Czech rider Jacob Smrz who will campaign a Guandalini Ducati again in 2010 after the deal to run semi-factory Aprilia’s stumbled.

BMW men Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus set identical times, but like in Portimao last weekend were off the pace of the front runners.

Aprilia riders Max Biaggi and Leon Camier were due to test on Tuesday and Wednesday but due to freezing track temperatures and rain barely ventured out on track. With the weather improving on Thursday most of the remaining riders managed around 50 laps in greatly improved conditions which led to impressive lap times under Haga’s 2009 lap record.

For the full report on the test see MCN out Wednesday 3rd February

Carlos Checa     Althea Ducati                1’33.8
Noriyuki Haga    Xerox Ducati                 1’34.0
Shane Byrne     Althea Ducati                 1’34.1
Michel Fabrizio  Xerox Ducati                  1’34.3
Jakub Smrz       Guandalini Ducati          1’34.7
Troy Corser       BMW Motorrad              1’35.2
Ruben Xaus       BMW Motorrad              1’35.2
Alex Hoffman     Aprilia test team           1’35.5

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Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider