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Carlos Checa struggling to hit early season form

Carlos Checa struggling to hit early season form

Carlos Checa struggling to hit early season form

One of Spain´s top riders Carlos Checa has made a subdued start to the 2003 season as he fights to get his factory Fortuna Yamaha set-up to liking in order to run with the leaders.

Positions of tenth and ninth in the first two rounds means that the 30 year old currently lies ninth in the Championship, 33 points behind leader Valentino Rossi. To make matters slightly worse Norick Abe, drafted into the team to replace Marco Melandri in Welkom, was substantially faster and completed the GP in eighth after suffering some electronic trouble and dropping from fifth.

Checa, who has been with Yamaha for the last four years, was hoping to be a major player for the 2003 crown after a strong spell at the end of last year. The season is still young and the third round taking place at a traditionally busy and atmospheric Jerez should give the Spaniard a sufficient moral boost to aim for the podium. Here he gives his account of the Welkom race:

´Ninth place is not completely satisfactory, although considering how the weekend went it is not such a negative result.´
´In the beginning I had no grip with the rear or any stability. I couldn´t brake hard although towards the end of the race the balance changed a bit and I was able to keep the pace better. Sometimes when I was off the gas I lost the rear, which didn´t give me any confidence. At the end I understood the bike a bit better and was able to go on the gas earlier. If I could have remained in the ´34s I would have been able to stay and fight for fifth position. Anyway, that´s another race for me to learn from - we´ll keep trying.´
´The most positive thing from the weekend is the work the team completed which meant our problems from Friday eventually improved. We still have a long road to continue improving and to have a chance of fighting for the podium.´

MotoGP, 2003, Carlos Checa

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