Hodgson (Ducati Fila) crowns glorious day for Ducati with double win at Silverstone; Two podium finishes for Xaus.
Neil Hodgson (Ducati Fila) crowned one of the greatest days in Ducati's history when he notched up win #2 in the British Round of the World Superbike Championship in front of a record-breaking 83,000 spectators at Silverstone. Earlier in the afternoon Loris Capirossi had scored Ducati's first-ever win in MotoGP with an emotional victory at Barcelona's Circuito de Catalunya.
Neil clinched his tenth win of the year by the slimmest of margins in an astonishing race 1 battle with the two Suzukis of Lavilla and Kagayama, team-mate Ruben Xaus, Laconi (NCR Ducati) and Toseland (HM Plant Ducati). "It was an unbelievable race, Lavilla's and Kagayama's lines were incredible" commented Neil. "It was really tough out there because the lap times were slow, people were fighting for the next corner and just not getting on with the race. I battled and touched fairings with just about everybody!"
Race 2 saw more of the same as Neil had to work his way up from 9th on the first lap. He moved into the lead on lap 10 but then had to contend with Lavilla (Suzuki) for the remaining ten laps before taking the chequered flag for his second win of the day and his eleventh of the year. "It's not good to be on pole here at Silverstone; I got an average start and everyone came underneath me. I tried to pick one rider off each lap and keep my eye on the leaders. Luckily JR and Ruben collided because they were going to be difficult to pass. It's been a fantastic day for Ducati and I'd like to dedicate these wins in Britain to David Jefferies, my close friend who was tragically killed in the Isle of Man TT".
Ruben Xaus rode a superb race 1, which saw him take the lead at one point. The Spanish rider inherited the final podium place when Lavilla crashed out ahead of him at the chicane but kept a cool head in the last few laps to finish third. "We worked hard all the weekend since Friday and during the race I just took things nice and calm" declared Ruben. "I knew the wild cards weren't going to be able to last the race in these conditions. I was just passing and passing until I got the lead. Although I finished fourth, I'm really happy to be on the podium again".
Ruben again stepped onto the podium in race 2 with another gritty ride to third after recovering from a clash with Reynolds (Suzuki) which sent the Spaniard careering across the gravel trap. "I moved really fast in the early laps to fourth, Reynolds was third and we touched. I went across the grass and tried to get back on the track again, I was giving it gas and the slicks were spinning so much. Then I recovered and my lap times were really good. I nearly caught Gregorio at the end, but I'm happy with third and it's nice to have two Spanish riders on the podium, there are too many British guys up here!"
RACE 1: 1. Hodgson (Ducati Fila); 2. Toseland (HM Plant Ducati); 3. Xaus (Ducati Fila); 4. Laconi (NCR Ducati); 5. Kagayama (Suzuki); 6. Reynolds (Suzuki); etc. RACE 2: 1. Hodgson; 2. Lavilla (Suzuki); 3. Xaus; 4. Toseland (HM Plant Ducati); 5. Kagayama; 6. Laconi.
POINTS: Riders - 1. Hodgson 295; 2. Toseland 165; 3. Xaus 158; 4. Laconi 145; 5. Lavilla 131; 6. Walker 110; etc. Manufacturers - 1. Ducati 300; 2. Suzuki 158; 3. Petronas 52; 4. Kawasaki 51; 5. Yamaha 40; 5. Honda 21.