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Checa smashes pole record at Jerez test

Checa smashes pole record at Jerez test

Checa smashes pole record at Jerez test

Carlos Checa set a sensational lap time on the final day of Ducati Marlboro's debut test with Bridgestone tyres at Jerez on Thursday, lapping almost two seconds inside Valentino Rossi' lap record and almost a full second inside the Italian's pole record with a time of 1'40.065.

"I'm obviously really happy with the results over the three days of the test," said Checa, who moved from Yamaha at the end of the season. "The lap times speak for themselves and there isn't much else to say except that this is the start of a long winter in which we will have to work hard to make sure our bike is competitive and capable of winning races.

"Now it's a case of defining the set-up to work from in January although, obviously, this result is a real confidence boost for everybody."

Whilst several HRC riders will continue to lap on Friday, the Italian factory squad concluded their schedule today, as did Kawasaki, Aprilia and Proton Team KR, who tested with Gregorio Lavilla in the saddle of the hybrid KTM machine.

"The KTM engine has a lot of potential but it needs working on to make the power useable," said Lavilla, who spent last season as a test rider for Team Suzuki.

"We worked on every aspect of the bike to gather as much information as possible and take the first steps in developing the bike. I am really satisfied that Proton KR have decided to take me on for this job and I hope that it can be the first step towards a fruitful relationship in the future."

Nicky Hayden, who was the fastest Honda rider on Wednesday, is working with new chief engineer Pete Benson, formerly a telemetry technician for the Repsol Honda team. Hayden was hindered by a crash today but escaped unhurt.

Unofficial lap times

Carlos Checa (Ducati): 1'40'065
Loris Capirossi (Ducati): 1'40'926
Sete Gibernau (Honda): 1'41'036
Makoto Tamada (Honda):1'41'098
Tohru Ukawa (Honda):1'41'636
Troy Bayliss (Honda):1'41'663
Régis Laconi (Ducati):1'41'853
Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki): 1'42'012
Marco Melandri (Honda):1'42'023
Nicky Hayden (Honda):1'42'029
Alex Hofmann (Kawasaki): 1'42'378
Jeremy McWilliams (Aprilia) 1'42'483
Shinichi Itoh (Honda):1'42'624
Shane Byrne (Aprilia): 1'43'936
Gregorio Lavilla (Proton): 1'44'881

MotoGP, 2004, Carlos Checa

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