Read about Carlos Checa, including career highlights, pictures and news of the road racer right here at Motorcycle USA.
Rider: Carlos Checa
Nickname: Charlie, The Bull, Careless Chucker
Team: Team Ducati Alstare
Machine: Ducati 1199 Panigale (#7)
Born: October 15, 1972 in Barcelona, Spain
Carlos Checa began his GP career on a 250 in 1995 and got a 500 ride when his teammate was injured that same year. The Bull made an immediate impact on the GP scene, where he competed for more than a decade. His first 500GP victory came at Catalunya, ahead of GP legend Mick Doohan.
After many seasons with Honda and then Yamaha, Checa has kicked around the MotoGP paddock, riding for four different teams in as many years. For 2007 he found himself competing on a Michelin-shop LCR Honda. After a year toiling for the hapless Tech 3 Yamaha team utilizing Dunlop rubber, the Spaniard was looking forward to a more productive season, but languished in 14th overall.
Checa jumped to World Superbike in 2008, where he emerged as a consistent podium and race-winning threat for the Ten Kate Honda squad, finishing fourth overall. For 2009, the usually even Checa DNF’d six times and labored for four podium finishes, taking seventh overall in the championship.
In 2010 Checa returned to race-winning form aboard the new Althea Racing Ducati team. In a surprisingly strong season Checa earned third in the series behind Max Biaggi and Leon Haslam, shaming the underachieving factory Xerox Ducati team. His 2010 campaign included three wins at Phillip Island and Imola in addition to another five podiums.
2011 proved a breakout year for the Spaniard in World Superbike as he rode to 15 wins, 21 podiums and six Superpoles with Althea Ducati. As a result Checa claimed the first WSB title for Spain, and is currently set to defend his title in 2012 with Althea Ducati.
Despite crashing out of the first race of the season at Phillip Island, Checa claimed the early advantage in the 2012 World Superbike Championship. Following his high-side in Race 1, he went on to notch three consecutive race wins. During Round 3 at Assen, a mistake in tire choice forced the Spaniard to the pits mid-race, leaving him well outside the top-10 and marking the beginning of what would become a frustrating year. He would grab one more race win during the season at Miller, but was unable to recapture the glory of his 2011 campaign. He earned nine total podiums, one pole position and finished the year in fourth overall.
At the end 2012, Althea Racing and Ducati parted ways. Francis Batta’s Belgian organization, Team Alstare, took Althea’s place and is set to manage Checa as well as his new teammate, Ayrton Badovini, through the 2013 season. In addition to the new management, Checa and Badovini will also pilot the new Ducati 1199 Panigale for its inaugural World Superbike season.
Checa hardly had time to grow accustomed to the new Panigale before his 2013 season troubles started. In Race 1 of the opening round at Phillip Island Checa was battling for a position in the top-three when a crash ended his hopes of a podium. The Spaniard sustained a concussion and was unable to speak for a period, but soon recovered though he retained no memory of the incident.
By Round 4 he was found to have an osseous edema on the head of the humerus of his left shoulder which caused significant pain that required intensive physiotherapy. He pulled out of the round at Monza due to the condition.
A number of crashes throughout the following rounds forced Checa to pull out of the season early due to a fractured pelvis and other injuries which required surgery and a minimum ten-week recuperation. The evening before the final WorldSBK race of the 2013 season at Jerez Checa announced he would end his 20 year-long career in motorcycle racing and retire.
2013 – 15th World Superbike – Ducati
2012 – 4th World Superbike – Ducati
2011 – 1st World Superbike – Ducati
2010 – 3rd World Superbike – Ducati
2009 - 7th World Superbike – Honda
2008 - 4th World Superbike – Honda
2007 - 14th MotoGP – Honda
2006 - 15th MotoGP – Yamaha
2005 - 9th MotoGP – Ducati
2004 - 7th MotoGP – Yamaha
2003 - 7th MotoGP – Yamaha
2002 - 5th MotoGP – Yamaha
2001 - 6th 500cc MotoGP – Yamaha
2000 - 6th 500cc MotoGP – Yamaha
1999 - 7th 500cc MotoGP – Yamaha
1998 - 4th 500cc MotoGP – Honda
1997 - 8th 500cc MotoGP – Honda
1996 - 8th 500cc MotoGP – Honda
1995 - 16th 500cc MotoGP – Honda
1995 - 13th 250cc MotoGP – Honda
1994 - 12th 250cc MotoGP – Honda
1993 - 23rd 250cc MotoGP – Honda
1993 - 27th 125cc MotoGP – Honda
1993 - 3rd 125 Spanish National Championship – Honda
1992 - 8th 125cc European Championship – Honda
1991 - 1st Spainish 80cc
1990 - 7th Spanish 80cc
2011 World Superbike champion Carlos Checa explains how he initially got into motorcycle racing and describes the passion that was ignited in this exclusive interview with MotorcycleUSA.