With one win and a third place, Carlos Checa and X-lite X-802 need only 3 points at the next race to take home the much deserved world champion title. At Imola, Carlos, in addition to pole position, took his twelfth win of the season despite many problems but he was not allowed to celebrate the title just yet due to a strong performance by Marco Melandri.
In race 1, Carlos from the start encountered problems with a wrong tyre choice but after a fierce battle managed to gain third place. In race 2, Carlos again did not have the perfect start and had to come back after losing some positions but with the fastest lap of the race moved into second place. When rival Rea was forced to stop with a technical problem this left the chance of victory to Carlos.
It was not an easy weekend for Marco Melandri (Nolan X-802) dealing with problems of chattering and brakes. He finished with a sixth and eighth place, which was enough to prevent his friend Checa mathematically winning the title at Imola.
Ayrton Badovini (X-lite X-802) finished with very respectable ninth and tenth places. Also an excellent performance by wild card Federico Sandi (Nolan X-802) finishing 13th in race 1 and 12th in race 2.
“Race 1 was really exciting, I battled hard with Sykes and it was a clean, fun race. In the end I was perhaps a little faster than him and I closed in third, an already very satisfactory result. Then Race 2 was even more thrilling! I’m sorry for Rea who had the pace to win, and for Melandri who was perhaps a little unlucky this weekend but of course I’m extremely happy to have won here at Imola. The championship is not yet over but we are very close to the title. We go on to the next round and what will be, will be. It’s been a perfect weekend, I’m over the moon and want to thank the entire team, Ducati, the sponsors and of course all of the fans.”
"In race one I felt a strong vibrating sensation on the rear of the machine and was struggling with the engine brake so it was impossible to push any harder. In the second race I was also finding it hard to brake on downhill slopes but as the race progressed and the tank got lighter, the bike was more manageable. I was hoping to fight for the podium but at that stage it was bit late so I had to settle for sixth."
Checa leads the championship with 97 points ahead of Melandri. Next race at Magny Cours next weekend.