Neither Checa nor Rea finished the 23-lap first race at the 4.005km Ricardo Tormo circuit just outside Valencia – Rea crashing early on the opening lap after it appeared another rider nudged him from behind.
Checa ran off the circuit at the final turn – also early in the race – but the Spaniard was able to rejoin the fray, albeit at the back of the field. He retired from the race two laps early.
In the second outing, both riders got reasonable starts but rear grip problems forced Rea to drop down the field, while Checa was able to fight his way up to sixth – the team’s only reward after a difficult weekend.
Carlos Checa – DNF & 6th
Race one was a little bit better than race two, but still not where we want to be. In the first race, my start was not so good and as I approached the final turn behind Tom Sykes, I hit the white line during braking. There was no grip so I had no alternative but to go into the gravel. I tried to get some data from the tyre, but it wouldn’t let me go fast enough to learn anything so I pulled in. My start in race two put me in a better position for braking into the first turn, but when the race settled down I found that I couldn’t open the throttle with the bike on its side. I was able to make up some places and sometimes racing here at Valencia is enough motivation but it wasn’t our day today.
Jonathan Rea – DNF & 13th
I got a pretty good start in race one and had the bike cranked right over coming out of the first right-hander. The next thing I knew I was up in the air, hanging on to the bike but missing the seat when I landed. And that was that. We didn’t really have any information to change anything for race two but it wasn’t great. It’s been a tough few days so all I can do is thank my team for all their hard work this weekend and say that we’ll re-group for Assen and try to get some decent results for the team’s home race.
Ronald ten Kate – team manager
There are no excuses for these results – we simply haven’t performed well enough this weekend and we all know that we must improve things from this moment. Everyone is working hard to find a way forward, but we will arrive at Assen for our home race in less than three weeks and we must achieve the results that the hard work of the team deserves.
2009 World Superbike championship, round three – Valencia, Spain
4.005km, 23 laps – results, race one:
1 Noriyuki Haga (JPN) Ducati 36’44.766s
2 Michel Fabrizio (ITA) Ducati +3.677s
3 Max Neukirchner (GER) Suzuki +3.959s
4 Regis Laconi (FRA) Ducati +4.210s
5 Leon Haslam (GBR) Honda +13.824s
12 Ryuichi Kiyonari (JPN) Ten Kate Honda Racing
1 Noriyuki Haga (JPN) Ducati 36’46.927s
2 Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha +5.105s
3 Michel Fabrizio (ITA) Ducati +6.386s
4 Regis Laconi (FRA) Ducati +6.573s
5 Leon Haslam (GBR) Honda +14.075s
6 Carlos Checa (ESP) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda +17.333s
9 Ryuichi Kiyonari (JPN) Ten Kate Honda Racing +21.015s
13 Jonathan Rea (GBR) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
Championship points after three of 14 rounds:
Haga 135, Spies 95, Neukirchner 65, Fabizio 60, Haslam 58, Laconi 56, Rea 33, Kiyonari 32, Checa 31
Next round: Assen, Netherlands – 24-26 April