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Checa feels the need for speed at Le Mans

Checa feels the need for speed at Le Mans

Checa feels the need for speed at Le Mans

Carlos Checa goes well at Le Mans - the dashing Spaniard has twice finished on the podium in his last four visits to the circuit. And he aims to be back up there on May 15. The Ducati Marlboro Team rider has a couple of theories about his impressive speed at the tortuous French track. "I'm not really sure why I go well there, maybe it's my riding style or maybe it's because it's in my blood," he laughs. "My younger brother (David, reigning World Endurance Champion) won the Le Mans 24-hour race last month, so maybe the track just suits my family! I actually like the circuit - there's a lot of fierce low-gear acceleration, a lot of heavy braking and I really enjoy the final section, which reminds me of a part of the Calafat track in Spain."

If Checa's results have yet to mirror his impressive speed on his Desmosedici, the Spaniard says the bike does offer him the feedback he needs to go fast. Racers need to feel exactly what the tyres and the bike are doing when they are approaching the limit, so they known exactly where the limit is. "The connection between me and the bike is really good now," he says. "My riding style is quite smooth but it seems I can be more aggressive on the Ducati, so I can push harder towards the limit because it gives me a wider 'safety' area.

"It will be interesting to see how the bike works at Le Mans because we've worked on a couple of things which should help us around tight circuits. First, we have improved the bike's behaviour under heavy braking. Second, we have improved steering into slow-speed corners, just through minor adjustments to geometry and balance."

MotoGP, 2005, GRAND PRIX ALICE DE FRANCE, Carlos Checa

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