DUCATI XEROX TEAM ENDS 2005 SEASON WITH PODIUM FOR TOSELAND - LACONI DID NOT START DUE TO ARM INJURY
Magny-Cours (France), Sunday 9 October: The 2005 World Superbike Championship came to a close at Magny-Cours with a third place finish for James Toseland (Ducati Xerox Team) in the first race, which was won by Chris Vermeulen (Honda). Toseland had to fight hard to hold off the challenge from Karl Muggeridge (Honda) for the podium, and then finished sixth in the second race of the day after battling with 2005 world champion Troy Corser (Suzuki) and Chris Walker (Kawasaki).
Team-mate Regis Laconi had a disappointing end to his 2005 season. After checking on his condition in the morning warm-up, the Frenchman was unable to take part in today's races due to his arm injury, which was causing him considerable difficulty around the Magny-Cours track.
The day was a memorable one for Ducati however as Lorenzo Lanzi sensationally took his second win of the season in race 2. Lanzi, riding a third Ducati 999F05 for the Ducati SC Caracchi team with additional Xerox branding, took the factory machine to its sixth win of the year in an all-Italian triumph.
"That was a good hard fight I had with Karl but it was very fair" declared Toseland, "I've cleaned the blue paint of my fairing and he can clean the red off his! We were a little bit wide in places, he left half a gap but it was a very close race. I was riding for my pride out there and so I just gave it all I had. It was great and I'm just so pleased to get on the podium after all the difficulties we've had this weekend"
"There was nothing that could be done today because there are just too many right hand curves on this track" declared Laconi. "I have very little strength in my right arm and it was impossible to do more than a couple of laps. I tried this morning and it was not possible to race. It's tough for me because it's the final round but it would have been too dangerous for myself and all the others if I had taken part in the race. I will need another month to get back to full fitness, hopefully I will be ready for the winter tests and obviously also for 2006. That's life, this injury has ruined the end of my season, it's a real pity".
Ducati Corse Superbike director Paolo Ciabatti added: "It has been a difficult season for Ducati and the opposition has been very tough this year. But we have shown that the Ducati 999F05 is still a winning machine and that it has won in the hands of all three riders who have raced it, James, Regis and Lorenzo, and we look forward to the 2006 season. A big thanks to all of our partners who have accompanied us this year, in particular title sponsor Xerox, with whom we are in the first year of our partnership, and technical sponsor Shell Advance for all of their support".