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Checa rues lack of dry running

Carlos ChecaMotoGP returnee Carlos Checa felt his retirement from the Portuguese Grand Prix was a direct consequence of having not been able to prepare properly for the race in practice due to the poor weather.

Persistent rain through the build-up at Estoril meant that the riders did not get any dry running until the race itself.

Checa, back in MotoGP for two races with Pramac Ducati after three years away in World Superbikes, made a strong start and got up to 11th for a while, only to have to retire due to discomfort from the condition known as 'arm pump'. He reckoned that this could have been avoided had he managed to get his position on the bike set up better beforehand.

"My bike was perfect, but my forearm, unfortunately not," said Checa. "The bike I got to ride in Superbike this year is very different from the MotoGP given to me by the Pramac Racing team and I never got the possibility to try it on the dry asphalt for more than 10 laps. This certainly hasn't helped me.

"After six laps my forearm pain was really insufferable, I could not properly use the brake, my lap pace was as very good as the beginning of the race, and because of the pain I could not be able to be as fast as I wanted.

"I tried to keep it [going] until the end, but the pain was too strong to complete the 15 laps that separated me from the chequered flag.

"I hope that in Valencia the weather conditions will be kind with me so that I can be able to have a good race weekend."

Team boss Fabio Sterlacchini was confident that Checa would have been competitive and reached the finish had he managed some dry practice mileage.

"Unfortunately the rain that we had during recent days has also damaged our race," said Sterlacchini. "Carlos never got the possibility to try the bike on the dry track and this has not allowed him to ride the bike in the best way and to find the right riding position that would allow him to avoid him having to use too much his right forearm.

"I'm sure that if he had got the possibility to fully race the first free practice and yesterday's qualifying session, he could be able to do a good race today."

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