Double podium for Althea Racing and its riders Checa and Gugliano at Assen

22 April 2012
Team Althea Racing and its riders Davide Giugliano and Carlos Checa tooka great result in very difficult conditions in today's first Superbike race at the Dutch TT circuit of Assen; the riders crossed the line in second and third position respectively. The second race was more difficult for Checa, who closed seventeenth, while Giugliano finished ninth.

Race 1 got underway in dry conditions and both Carlos and Davide made a good start, with Carlos fourth at the end of the first lapand Davide twelfth, having started from nineteenth place on the grid. After twelve laps and a number of crashes, a red flag stopped the race. Arestart was required as the riders had only completed 12 of the planned22 laps. In the second race, Carlos once again started from fifth whileGiugliano got away from the tenth spot on the grid thanks to the work he'd done during the first ‘heat'. This time both Althea men had to facepouring rain and a cold wind. At the end of the first (of nine) laps, Checa was third, followed by Giugliano in fourth. Carlos then passed Badovini, taking command of the race when Haslam, ahead of him, crashed.In the final phase Carlos lost a little ground but, not wanting to takeunnecessary risks, was satisfied with final third place. Davide meanwhile battled it out first with Laverty and then with Biaggi, projecting himself up into second position, a position that he held until the line to take his first ever Superbike podium, just behind racewinner Guintoli and ahead of team-mate Checa.

Race 2 was declared‘wet' due to a damp track. Carlos decided to go out on a rain tyre, believing that it might come on to rain soon after but unfortunately it proved to be the wrong decision, and meant that he had to return to the garage after one lap to change the tyre. Carlos returned to the track inlast position. Davide made a good start and lay in fourteenth place at the end of the first lap. He then passed first Hopkins and then Biaggi, moving up to eighth by mid-race. In the final stages the young Althea rider battled it out with both Biaggi and Badovini and closed the race in final ninth place, gaining another six championship points. Carlos was unfortunately unable to catch those ahead of him, despite a very fast pace (he recorded the fastest lap of the race - 1m38.092 - on the sixteenth lap); he closed race 2 in seventeenth position.

After three rounds, Carlos lies in second position in the general standings with 91 points, one point behind leader Biaggi. Thanks to today's results Giugliano moves up from seventeenth to tenth position with 37 points. Ducati continues to lead the manufacturer's championship with 136 points to Aprilia's 100.

Carlos Checa:
"I'm more than satisfied with the result in Race 1, because conditions were already tricky in the first phase, let alone in the second! After the restart, there was little traction, little grip, and when I saw some of the others go down, I decided it was better to finish the race than risk a fall. Considering the conditions, probably one of the worst SBK races I've ever ridden, we're happy with third place. Congratulations to Davide too who made a great race - he deserved the result. In race 2 I made a mistake and take full responsibility for it. I chose to go out ona rain tyre as I though rain would come but I was wrong. I'm sorry I didn't come straight back in to change it during the warm-up lap as, that way, I would have probably been able to close in the top ten but instead I waited and by then it was too late to be able to catch up. We turn the page and look ahead."

Davide Giugliano:
"I'm very happy with how race 1 went of course as I didn't really expect it today,after a very difficult weekend that has been conditioned by the weatherfrom start to finish. It wasn't easy of course and the bike was slidingaround a lot even on the straight. Of course the conditions meant it was far from a relaxing race but, having said that, I felt fairly comfortable in the total wet after the restart. I had to fight against Carlos towards the end and that wasn't easy, as I was worried that I would make a mistake that might affect Carlos' race too but thankfully it all went well. I was able to take some good points in the second racealso, and thanks to today's results I've significantly improved my position in the overall standings so I go home very happy."

Race1 - 1. Guintoli (Ducati); 2. Giugliano (Ducati); 3. Checa (Ducati); 2. Sykes (Kawasaki); 3. Haslam (BMW). Race 2 - 1. Rea (Honda); 2 Guintoli (Ducati); 3. Laverty (Aprilia)

Riders - 1. Biaggi (Aprilia) 92; 2. Checa (Ducati) 91; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 79; 4. Guintoli (Ducati) 66; 5. Melandri (BMW) 66; 6. Rea (Honda) 65; 7. Haslam(BMW) 58; 8. Laverty (Aprilia) 56; 9. Srmz (Ducati) 39; 10. Giugliano (Ducati) 37.
Manufacturers - Ducati 136; Aprilia 100; BMW 86; Kawasaki 85; Honda 69; Suzuki 20