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Carlos Checa approaches third home GP of the year hoping for better luck

Carlos Checa approaches third home GP of the year hoping for better luck

Carlos Checa approaches third home GP of the year hoping for better luck

Last year at Valencia Carlos Checa was an unwilling spectator with the race barely a lap old after stalling his Yamaha on the second row of the grid. The Spaniard was struck by Jose Luis Cardoso and forced to watch the final round of 2002 from the pit-wall.

2003 has not provided a marked reverse in fortune for the recently turned 31 year old. He currently lies 8th in the standings and has been fighting mid-pack mediocrity all season, taking a best result of 4th in Assen, Catalunya and Brno.

Now rumoured to be heading towards a Honda berth for 2004, Checa has one more chance to impress any potential employers if he is to change saddles for the coming campaign. He will end his 8th season in the premier-class this weekend and possibly his 5th with Yamaha. Regardless of his future Checa will certainly be aiming to secure his first podium of the campaign in front of his supporters.

"It's my last chance this year to go for it in Valencia," he remarked. "Of course my crew and I have tried our hardest all season but for one reason or another things haven't gone quite the way we hoped. Hopefully in front of my home crowd of fans I can give them something to cheer about this weekend.

The settings that we used in winter testing won't really apply now because of the difference in conditions but at the last races we have found a good direction, and hopefully that will work in Valencia as well. My target is to get the maximum points I can. Valencia is quite hard work because there are so many corners so the bike needs very light handling. It's a fun circuit to ride at because it's an amphitheatre-style layout for the crowd, and you can hear the echoes of their cheers all around the circuit."

The Catalan has results of 5th, 7th, 4th, DNF since the Ricardo Tormo circuit has hosted a World Championship round. The weather has not been the best in Catalunya this week with low temperatures and rain but brighter conditions are predicted nearer the end of the week.

MotoGP, 2003, Carlos Checa

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