Imola 200 winner and Ducati legend Paul Smart today turned in 16 laps on Carlos Checa's World Superbike title-winning 1198 at Portugal's Portimao circuit.
Smart rode the same bike on which Checa cruised to victory in the opening leg of Sunday's double-header. The sixty-something ex-Grand Prix rider was meant to do an out lap, a flier and an in lap but Althea boss Genesio Bevilacqua is such a fan of Smart, the old duffer was given carte blanche to lap as much as he wanted.
"What a buzz. It was such an honour to ride the bike but a bit nerve-wracking doing it in front of the bike's owner and the guy who won the championship on it. I can imagine Carlos may have been pacing a bit, I would have been if it had been one of mine," said Smart, speaking to bikesportnews.com this evening.
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