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Checa pleased with hard-fought podium

Checa pleased with hard-fought podium

Checa pleased with hard-fought podium

Ducati Marlboro's Carlos Checa clinched his second podium result in three races at Phillip Island on Sunday afternoon, and afterwards claimed that the result tasted as good as a victory. The Spaniard had to work extra hard to ensure his ticket to the champagne podium ceremony after running fourth for much of the race, and only took a last-gasp third by using his Desmosedici's awesome horsepower to sneak past Marco Melandri in the run to the finish line.

The pair passed three times on the final lap; Checa moved ahead at Turn One, Melandri returned the compliment at Honda corner before Checa finally made his decisive move in the dash to the chequered flag.

"First, I want to dedicate this result to Loris," said Checa, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on Saturday. "It's been a different weekend working alone but I'm quite satisfied with the work we've done. After practice we expected a good result, though in the race I couldn't run the pace I'd run on Saturday and in the warm-up."

"When I got close to Melandri I could see my bike was better in some areas, but we weren't so strong on braking, so it was tough to pass. This is the first time I've scored a result that way, it was exciting, I couldn't believe it. It's been a funny weekend numbers-wise - I turned 33 on Saturday, I had the highest top speed here at 333km, I was fighting with Melandri whose number is 33 and I finished third!"

Tags:
MotoGP, 2005, POLINI AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Carlos Checa

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