James Toseland (Ducati Fila) 2004 WSBK Champion!
Regis Laconi Runner-Up
Ducati 999 1-2-3 In Championship!
Magny-Cours (France), 3 October 2004: James Toseland (Ducati Fila) was crowned the 2004 World Superbike champion today at the Magny-Cours circuit in France. On his way to winning Ducati's eleventh Riders' title, Toseland becomes the third British rider to win the championship after Carl Fogarty and Neil Hodgson.
Toseland, who celebrates his 24th birthday on Tuesday, couldn't have received a better present as he held off the challenge of his team-mate Regis Laconi and Honda's Chris Vermeulen, to take the title with a win in race 1 and second place in race 2 behind Noriyuki Haga (Renegade Ducati). Regis Laconi, who scored two third places today, finished runner-up in the championship.
"I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped me become world champion here today, the list is too long to mention everyone but it includes all my family and friends, GSE, Fila, Shell, Ducati Corse, all of my team and all the team's sponsors" declared an emotional Toseland after the podium. "I think I deserved to become world champion at the end, these last three rounds have gone really well and that's down to the team who have given me the best opportunity to win with the best bike. There was no option of making a mistake today or doing anything wrong, it was that close, it was a great season with Regis, there were some great races and it could easily have been him up here".
"Maybe we didn't find the right setting for today's races but a big thanks to the team, they worked very hard, I still gave my best and that is what is important" commented Laconi. "I'm happy because I gave my best but it wasn't enough, c'est la vie!. I think I can still fight for world titles for some more years. There has been a little bit more pressure within the Ducati garage over the past few races with the two of us fighting for the title but that is normal. It is the first time also for Ducati to have both riders in with a chance of winning the title and it is not an easy solution for the team too, but all of Ducati did a fantastic job, they are world champions, I am not this year but thank you to them anyway".
LANZI (DUCATI BREIL) CLINCHES FIFTH OVERALL IN SUPERSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP WITH ANOTHER GRITTY RIDE AT MAGNY-COURS
Magny-Cours (France), 3 October 2004: Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati Breil) clinched fifth overall in the 2004 World Supersport championship with another determined ride at Magny-Cours on the Ducati 749R.
Starting ninth on the grid, the 22 year-old Italian battled all the way throughout the 22-lap race, and once again finished just off the podium in fourth after overtaking Van Der Goorbergh (Yamaha) three laps from the end. Lanzi's task of finishing fifth had been made easier when Curtain (Yamaha), who was equal on points, crashed out on the opening lap.
"That was another great race to finish the season with. We didn't get on the podium unfortunately, once again everyone stayed on ahead of me and we finished fourth" declared a satisfied Lanzi.
"Overall fifth in the championship is a great result because we thought we could finish in the top 6 and this is an extra bonus.
"Once again in the race we finished behind three Hondas and there was only one Yamaha ahead of me in the final standings so we can only be pleased with that. The 749R is proving to have a lot of potential and as for me, I've achieved my best performances towards the end of the season.
"We wanted a podium but I am happy anyway. A big thanks to the team and now let's start to think about the final AMA Superbike race next Sunday!".
RACE: 1. Muggeridge (Honda); 2. Parkes (Honda); 3. Charpentier (Honda); 4. Lanzi (Ducati Breil); 5. VD Goorbergh (Yamaha); 6. Pitt (Yamaha); etc.
FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS : (Riders) 1. Muggeridge 207; 2. Parkes 135; 3. VD Goorbergh 130; 4. Charpentier 120; 5. Lanzi 82; 6. Curtain 69; etc. (Manufacturers) 1. Honda 212 ; 2. Yamaha 176 ; 3. Suzuki 103; 4. Ducati 95; 5. Kawasaki 40; 6. Triumph 4.