After a season full of successes, race wins, podiums, fastest laps and pole positions, Carlos Checa and the Althea Ducati Racing Team received the ultimate prize at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in Nevers, France, as the Spanish racing veteran was crowned 2011 World Superbike Champion at the penultimate round of the championship. This was not all, as, thanks to Checa’s brilliant results throughout the 2011 season, Ducati was today celebrating its 17th win in the manufacturer’s championship at the end of Race 2.
In Race 1, and starting from third position on the grid, Checa was in third by the end of lap one, behind Alitalia Aprilia’s Camier and Factory Yamaha’s Eugene Laverty. Within a couple of laps he had reached and passed Camier, recording the fastest lap of the race (1:38.643) on lap 4. Pushing hard, Checa began to close the gap between himself and race leader Laverty and on the ninth lap he was able to get ahead and take control of the race. By the end of the fifteenth lap he had a two-second advantage over the Irishman and, wanting to clinch the title in the best possible way, he did not slow up even for a second, crossing the line in first place and claiming the World Championship title as his own.
Despite the fact that emotions were already running high, Carlos got straight back to work in the second race of the day. Fourth at the end of lap one, he got past first Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes and then Camier, making the fastest lap of the race on lap two, a 1:39.136. With this fast lap, his tenth fastest lap of the 2011 season, he also picked up the Pirelli best lap award. A few laps later, Checa made a small error while trying to pass Laverty and lost a couple of positions as a result. He soon made up for this however, and by the eighth lap he was back up to third and only one second from race leader Laverty. On lap 12 he got in front of Honda’s Jonathan Rea, and on the very next lap he was leading the race. Extremely fast all the way to the line, Carlos managed his race to perfection, closing in first place once again, to secure his 14th win of the season.
Having led the 2011 championship right from the opening round, Carlos Checa’s win is extremely well deserved. He brought home the 2011 World SBK title ahead of schedule, with three races still to run. Highlights (and lowlights) of the season have included double wins at Phillip Island, Salt Lake City, Misano, Silverstone and Magny-Cours, a crash at home track Aragon and the stunning win at Ducati’s home track of Imola last weekend.
The season has brought huge success, with the team clocking up 14 race wins and a total of 20 podium finishes over the 12 events held so far. At Silverstone, Carlos also reached the milestone of 100 WSBK race starts while simultaneously scoring the 300th race win for Ducati. Carlos has thus far attained 39 podiums from 106 SBK race starts.