CHECA RIDES GREEN FOR TITLE NUMBER FOUR
David Checa became a four-time FIM Endurance World Champion in 2019, some fifteen years on from his first success in the discipline back in 2004. The experienced Spaniard found himself without a ride last year when an incredible sixteen-year association with the GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team, that wielded titles in 2004, 2014 and 2017, came to an end as the team switched their focus to the FIM Supersport World Championship.
However, Checa was snapped up by Team SRC Kawasaki France for the 2018-2019 FIM EWC campaign and the move almost paid off in the opening round as the team led the Bol d’Or through the night and early morning, only to develop electrical problems and drop to seventh.
A famous victory at the 24 Heures Motos in Le Mans that gave them the series lead was followed by another mechanical setback at Slovakiaring, but Checa and Team SRC Kawasaki France were back on the podium with second place at Oschersleben to set up a title shot at Suzuka, needing to defend a five-point advantage in the final round. After a crash for his team-mate Erwan Nigon left the #11 Kawasaki and Checa down in sixteenth position and seemingly out of contention, the 39-year-old produced a masterful ride in tricky conditions to guide his team back up to eleventh.
This time it was their rivals’ turn to endure misfortune and as SERT suffered an engine failure in the final moments, Checa was in place to reap the rewards of his heroic efforts and claim an emotional fourth title in the discipline.
4 x FIM Endurance World Champion – 2019, 2017, 2014, 2004
CHECA CLAIMS HAT-TRICK TITLE
David Checa was crowned as an FIM Endurance World Champion for the third time in 2017, following on from his previous successes with the GMT94 Yamaha team back in 2004 and 2014. Checa has been an integral part of the GMT94 Yamaha team in every EWC season they have contested, enjoying a first success together way back in 2003, when they won the Oschersleben 24-hour race.
That season was his first experience with Yamaha, also racing a YZF-R1 in the Spanish championship, and the introduction of the third-generation of the machine in 2004 saw him dominate the EWC to capture the title for the first time, taking victory in the Oschersleben 24 hours and Zhuhaï 6 Hours rounds. In 2005 he won at Le Mans and finished second at the Bol d’Or, but after missing out on the title he tried his hand at other individual series', including the FIM World Superbike Championship, which he contested also with GMT94, in 2008 and 2009.
The experienced Spanish rider, who spent the early part of his career racing with some success in the FIM 250cc World Championship and also scored points in MotoGP during 2005, found his home back in EWC in 2010 and finally lifted the title for a second time, ten years on from the first, in 2014. After missing out to SERT in the team category and Lucas Mahias in the individual stakes in 2016, the younger brother of former FIM World Superbike Champion Carlos Checa this year shares the rider's crown with his title-winning GMT94 Yamaha team-mate Niccolò Canepa.