Checa interview part 2: "The performance of all the riders is quite high… everyone is working for themselves"
2011 Champion Carlos Checa discussed the 2023 grid and potential teamwork from Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea this season
With a third of the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship campaign in the history books already, the gap between the Catalunya and Emilia-Romagna Rounds is the perfect time to take stock of the season so far. That’s exactly what 2011 WorldSBK Champion did in an interview at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya during the Prosecco DOC Catalunya Round and you can check out the first part of the interview HERE. In part two, Checa discusses Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea’s (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) seasons so far as well as the 2023 rider line-up.
REA AND RAZGATLI0GLI’S POTENTIAL TEAMWORK: “everyone is working for themselves…”
During a parc ferme conversation at the Dutch Round, Rea and Razgatlioglu were in conversation with the 2021 Champion asking his rival why he didn’t attack Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) to be in a position to disrupt his rhythm and potentially fight for victory. Checa was asked about the pair potentially working together throughout 2023 to give his point of view on their fightback but believes the pair will work separately this season.
Checa said: “This is an individual sport, and everyone is working for themselves. Clearly, now, Alvaro is one step in front as Jonny and Kawasaki did in the past, as Toprak did in some moments, catching Jonny and beating him. Now Alvaro has arrived and beat them. Maybe with more room or space than they expected. He’s the reference. Now they need to catch Alvaro and the distance is quite big. I don’t know if they will be able to. It seems so difficult because Alvaro is controlling and riding over them, and he increased the lead quite a lot. I don’t think they will do any teamwork. It’s more a resignation, it seems they cannot fight to win so they will fight for second place. So far, if there’s no problem for Alvaro and Ducati, they need to fight for other positions. It’s clear that in some circuits they’ll be closer, I don’t know if they’ll be able to beat him, although it would be nice for the spectacle, because these three battling is what the fans like. But they have to do a great job, with their teams, with Yamaha and Kawasaki, because Ducati has done a big step forward and have found a rider who can take profit of the bike, which is Alvaro.”
THE CURRENT GRID: one of the strongest ever?
Six rookies joined the WorldSBK grid in 2023 with all having at least a domestic title to their name to make it one of the strongest rookie line-ups, and adding those riders to an already-strong grid added more depth. With so many World Champions on the grid, coming from WorldSBK, WorldSSP and Moto2™, as well as European and domestic titles to the majority of the grid, Checa was asked whether the 2023 grid could be considered the strongest in WorldSBK.
Discussing this, the 2011 Champion said: “I think WorldSBK always had a strong grid and the performance of all the riders is quite high. We can see the evidence. We see first, second, third and it seems like the others are not good enough but Petrucci won in MotoGP™, Remy did really good in Moto2™ but it’s not a Championship where you arrive and because you were in front in a different championship or MotoGP™, you can automatically be in front. There’s a lot of work, it depends on the bike and the team. You can adapt better or not. It seems like Bautista adapted perfectly and other riders, like Petrucci and probably Remy, are struggling as well. I think these riders have the capacity and ability and the performance to potentially be in front. Sooner or later, if they have an opportunity, we can see them at the front.”
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