Reigning World Endurance Champion David Checa will compete in the Italian Grand Prix next weekend with the Fortuna Yamaha Team. The Spanish rider will replace Toni Elías, who is still recovering from an injury sustained during a day of tests following the French Grand Prix at Le Mans.
Elías underwent an operation in Barcelona after fracturing the radius and scaphoid of his left wrist and rupturing the ligaments that link the triquetral bone and the radius. The rider also fractured the outside of his left fibula and his leg was put in a cast. According to Doctor Xavier Mir from the Instituto Dexeus in Barcelona, who has been responsible for the treatment issued to Elías, the Fortuna Yamaha rider requires a five-week recovery period from the time of the crash, assuming the injuries recover in a favorable manner.
Elias' misfortune gives Checa the opportunity to make his debut in MotoGP, the world's premier motorcycle racing series, with a factory he already knows well. This season Checa and Yamaha already enjoyed a spectacular victory at the 24 Hours race at Le Mans.
Checa, 25, competed in the 250cc World Championship from 2000 until 2002, firstly with Honda and then later with Aprilia, taking a best ever finish of sixth place in his final appearance at the 2002 Valencian Grand Prix. The rider from Sant Fruitós de Bages (Barcelona, Spain) has been racing since 1996 and regularly competes in four-stroke categories such as the World Endurance, Supersport and Superbike championships.
David will travel to Mugello, Italy on Tuesday and will link up with the rest of the team directed by Hervé Poncharal. Antonio Jiménez, Chief Mechanic to Elías and previously to David's elder brother Carlos Checa, will be using all his MotoGP experience as he presides over David Checa's debut.
Checa will also meet up with his new team-mate Ruben Xaus, who has only recently completed the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. The pair are already great friends and often train together riding Supermoto.
This year, as well as his participation and victory in the Le Mans 24 hours, Checa was planning to compete in the Bol d'Or, which will take place at the Magny Cours circuit in France.
David Checa - 20-04-1980:
- 2005: Pirelli test rider for World Superbike - 1st at Le Mans 24 Hours
- 2004: World Endurance Champion with GMT-94 Yamaha Racing France Impone, alongside Christophe Guyot, William Costes and Sebastien Gimbert
- 2003: Debut en in World Endurance Championship - 1st in Oschersleben 24 Hours
- 2002: 13th in 250cc World Championship
- 2001: 17th in 250cc World Championship
- 2000: 19th in 250cc World Championship
- 1999: Test rider for Ducati and Pirelli in World Supersport
- 1998: 4th in Supersport European Championship - 1st in Catalunya 24 Hours
- 1997: Supersport Spanish and Catalonian Championships
- 1996: 125cc Spanish Championship