Misano double for Xaus
Ruben Xaus (Ducati Fila-Michelin) won both races today at Misano. Neil Hodgson (Ducati Fila-Michelin) crashed out of race one and finished second behind Xaus in the next race. The two factory Ducati riders now lead the championship. Troy Corser (Foggy Petr onas Racing-Michelin) was 7th and 10th.
Vittorio Iannuzzo (Alstare Suzuki) got the holeshot but Neil Hodgson moved into the lead before the end of the first lap. Hodgson fell soon afterwards (he was unhurt), leaving Ruben Xaus, James Toseland (HM Plant Ducati), Pierfrancesco Chili (PSG-1 Ducati) and Régis Laconi (Ducati) to fight for the lead. Troy Corser was a little further back in 8th place. Pierfrancesco Chili highsided out of the race on the last lap. The Italian was just behind race leader Xaus when he crashed. He was injured. Xaus took his first win of the year (his team's 12th out of 13 races). Toseland was 2nd, Laconi 3rd and Corser 7th, his second best result of the year (he was 5th at Phillip Island). "The bike is handling great," Corser said. "The team has also been working on the mapp ing and the result is that the throttle connection is the best it's ever been. My front Michelin was great and the rear was very consistent."
As the lights turned green, Neil Hodgson led Iannuzzo and Laconi into the first corner. Corser was 7th and Xaus 8th. On lap 5, Hodgson was still leading with Chili 2nd, Laconi 3rd and Xaus already up to 4th. Xaus was riding hard to make his way back up to the front of the race and set the fastest lap at 1m35.629. Corser had now dropped to 10th. At half distance (lap 12), Pierfrancesco Chili led ahead of Neil Hodgson and Ruben Xaus. Two laps later, Xaus passed his team-mate and closed on Chili. Xaus took the lead on lap 16, with Chili and Hodgson close behind. Chili was then demoted to third and on lap 19, Hodgson moved back into the lead while Chili passed Xaus for 2nd. Two laps later Xaus grabbed 2nd from Chili and the two Ducati-Michelin aces started pulli ng away from the Italian veteran. Xaus managed to beat Hodgson to take his second win of the year and give his team their 5th one-two finish, after Valencia and Phillip Island. Troy Corser was 10th.
Despite not winning, Hodgson still has a very strong lead in the championship. He totals 315 points. Xaus now has 208 points and is back in 2nd place after former championship runner-up James Toseland, now on 185 points, retired in race two.
Since the start of the world Superbike championship in 1988, Michelin riders have won 261 races out of 377 and taken 11 out of 15 world titles. Michelin won 25 races out of 26 in 2002 and 13 out of 14 races this year.