Monday, April 30


Carlos Checa in action at Phillip Island on the Althea Ducati  V-twin on which he set a 
faster lap time at Phillip Island in February than Valentino Rossi managed on the 
Ducati V4 MotoGP machine in 2011. 

This may come as a surprise, but Carlos Checa is faster on a Ducati at Phillip Island than Valentino Rossi. At the end of February in the first round of the Eni Superbike World Championship, Checa recorded a best lap in race one of 1m 31.950s, just edging Rossi’s best race lap of 1m 31.965s at last year’s Iveco Australian MotoGP.

Checa races an 1198 V-twin Superbike; Rossi races the Ducati MotoGP bike, which last year was an 800cc V4...

Prior to Rossi joining Ducati, Australian Casey Stoner won 23 races on all the versions of the MotoGP Ducati. In his first year on the MotoGP Ducati, Casey Stoner's fastest race lap at Phillip Island was 1m 30.871s.

In subsequent seasons, Stoner's fastest laps on the Ducati were:

   2008 1m 30.067s
   2009 1m 30.092s
   2010 1m 30.458s.

So Stoner's worst lap on the MotoGP Ducati was in his debut season as a factory rider, and that lap is still more than a full second quicker than Rossi's best on the Ducati.

In all the years Stoner raced a Ducati at Phillip Island, the track temperature ranged from 26 to 31 degrees Celcius.

Last year it was 26 degrees again, and Stoner managed a best lap of 1m 30.629s on the Repsol Honda - which is slower than what he achieved on the Ducati in every year since his 2007 Championship winning season.

For this year's Superbike World Championship, the track was a much warmer 42 degrees Celcius...