Laguna Seca: Team Ducati race report

Ruben Xaus (Ducati Fila) put the seal on a great days' racing at Laguna Seca circuit in California in front of 92,000 spectators with a win in race 2 after crashing out of the lead in the first race. Championship leader Neil Hodgson twice...

Ruben Xaus (Ducati Fila) put the seal on a great days' racing at Laguna Seca circuit in California in front of 92,000 spectators with a win in race 2 after crashing out of the lead in the first race. Championship leader Neil Hodgson twice finished runner-up to increase his lead in the standings over his team-mate to 122 points.

Chili (PSG-1 Ducati) scored a hugely popular win from Neil in race 1, his first since Donington 2001, after a first lap crash involving Hodgson, Frankie, Bostrom, Yates and Corser had forced a restart, while the victory in race 2 went to Ruben, who took control on lap 4 to lead to the flag for his third win of the year.

"I think that the races offered us a different scenario from qualifying, where we suffered a little, but in the end the Ducati 999 F03 performed really well" declared Ducati Corse CEO, Claudio Domenicali. "The bikes have benefited from the depth of development which goes into the Michelin tyres and the Shell Advance motorcycle oils supplied to the team. With Michelin we have often found Laguna Seca a difficult track, but in the last two years their tyres have been well up to the situation, while the oils Shell Advance supplied us with this weekend are designed to excel under the hot and dry conditions of this track".

"I was leading the first race pretty easy and my lap times were consistent" declared Ruben Xaus, "but I had a really hard tyre and I pushed it too much at the slowest corner of the track and crashed. Races are like that, but the second race I wanted to show everyone I am the fastest and the winner here. I found in the morning warm-up that I had the right tyre to last 28 laps and be capable of running 26 lows and that gave me the power for the race. I could have won two races but that's OK, I know I'm getting better and better all the time".

"My second place in race 1 is one of the best I've ever earned because it was a really difficult race" declared Neil. "I've not felt comfortable all weekend with the set-up but in the race I just took my time. It's difficult to pass round here and you have to wait for people to make mistakes, so thankfully people made mistakes! Race 2 was probably the most eventful race in my career, I've never seen so many crazy things happening, especially on the first lap. I nearly crashed then Frankie somersaulted and then James crashed in front of me and I ran off the track into the gravel. Thankfully I finished second, points are everything because I want to win the championship".

-tdf-

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