2011 WorldSBK Champion on-track at Cheste with Ducati Test Team.
Carlos Checa, the only Spaniard so far to have won a WorldSBK title, completed his second three-day test of the year on Wednesday 21 October at the Circuito Ricardo Tormo near Valencia, Spain.
The 43-year-old Catalan took to the track aboard an experimental version of what will be the 2016 WorldSBK-spec Panigale R machine. His first test of the year took place in June at Mugello.
“At Mugello we did a great job by finding new solutions which proved to be very effective afterwards,” Checa told WorldSBK.com.
“Here we have been working hard once again; we evaluated new parts and settings for next year and discarded some configurations we did not like. It’s clear how useful it is to work in advance in these areas, so in the following test the riders will be able focus on more effective solutions.”
Despite retiring from professional racing at the end of the 2013 season, Checa has continued to gravitate towards Ducati by becoming one of the brand’s ambassadors and, lately, one of their test riders.
“I’m doing what I’m doing because I like it and because sometimes the full-time riders are unable to test due to races and/or rules,” he continued.
“We lacked a bit of track time because the circuit was wet on Monday and partly on Tuesday, too. We were able to do some work anyway, but the busiest day was definitely yesterday (Wednesday); we basically never stopped working.
“I lapped in the 34s many times, but times were not our main focus as we did not work on fine-tuning a specific package; we turned our attention to the swingarm and the stiffness of the bike, two areas that Ducati cannot get their head around. Our goal was to keep a consistently fast pace in order to understand whether the changes were actually bringing any improvements or not. I gave my feedback and compared it with the data the engineers were able to collect. The team will draw its conclusions, but I think the situation is pretty clear now.”
Checa will not return to the track for a short time. His next duty for Ducati will be as ambassador for the Ducati Taiwan Week at the end of this month.