Misano: Team Ducati race report

Ruben Xaus (Ducati Fila) scored a superb double victory today in searing heat in the San Marino Round of the World Superbike Championship at Misano Adriatico, notching up the third and fourth wins of his career after two scintillating races with...

Ruben Xaus (Ducati Fila) scored a superb double victory today in searing heat in the San Marino Round of the World Superbike Championship at Misano Adriatico, notching up the third and fourth wins of his career after two scintillating races with the Ducati 999 F03. Team-mate Neil Hodgson was less fortunate, the championship leader crashing out in race 1 but then taking the runner-up slot in race 2 after a superb battle with Xaus and 'veteran' Pierfrancesco Chili on a Ducati 998RS.

"It has been a great result for Ducati today with Ruben's double win and Neil's second place after he crashed in the first race" declared Ducati Corse Managing Director Claudio Domenicali. "Congratulations also to Pierfrancesco Chili who as always rode his heart out in front of his home crowd. For these wins we could once again count on the excellent support given by our technical partners, including Michelin and Shell, and then out on the track our two riders did the rest".

"Everyone knows how difficult it is to start from row 3 here at Misano" declared a jubilant Ruben Xaus when he stepped off the podium. "Neil tried to push the pace too early and crashed. After that I knew I could win and gave my everything until the end. I knew I had the quickest bike from the Carro curve to the Tramonto so I was sure I could win. I enjoyed the two races today and finally I felt that the 999 was 'mine' after all the work done by my mechanics this weekend" he added. "I didn't have any problems on race-day, just in practice and Superpole. In race 2 I easily passed Chili and as I knew Neil would have braked on the inside of Tramonto, I just went round him on the outside".

Hodgson crashed on lap 2 of the first race at the Carro curve but then rode a brilliant race 2 to take the runner-up slot behind Ruben. "It was a strange crash, I wasn't doing anything different to what I normally do at the Carro, I just lost the front and went down", said Neil. "I feel frustrated not to have won but I know I gave my best out there today. Finishing second only motivates me to train harder and go faster. I knew Ruben was really fast round the back part, I thought I'd covered the line but I hit the brakes too early and he came round me on the outside".

RACE 1 : 1. Xaus (Ducati Fila); 2. Toseland (HM Plant Ducati); 3. Laconi (NCR Ducati); 4. Lavilla (Suzuki); 5. Walker (HM Plant Ducati); 6. Martin (DFX Ducati). RACE 2 : 1. Xaus; 2. Hodgson; 3. Chili (PSG-1 Ducati); 4. Laconi; 5. Lavilla; 6. Pedercini (Ducati).

POINTS (after 7 of 12 rounds): Riders - 1. Hodgson 315; 2. Xaus 208; 3. Toseland 185; 4. Laconi 174; 5. Lavilla 155; 6. Walker 129. Manufacturers - 1. Ducati 350; 2. Suzuki 182; 3. Petronas 67; 4. Kawasaki 63; 5. Yamaha 45; 6. Honda 21.

-tdf-

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