DUCATI XEROX TEAM HEADS FOR SUMMER BREAK WITH BATTLE OF BRANDS Brands Hatch (UK), Thursday 3 August: The Ducati Xerox Team heads for a well-deserved summer break with this weekend's eighth round of the World Superbike Championship, which will...
DUCATI XEROX TEAM HEADS FOR SUMMER BREAK WITH BATTLE OF BRANDS
Brands Hatch (UK), Thursday 3 August: The Ducati Xerox Team heads for a well-deserved summer break with this weekend's eighth round of the World Superbike Championship, which will mark the end of two-thirds of the championship's 12-round trail. The Brands Hatch round always offers spectacular racing due to the up-and-down nature of the track and this, together with its delightful setting on the outskirts of London, is guaranteed to pull in massive crowds to the traditional Kent venue.
The current points leader is Ducati Xerox Team's Australian star Troy Bayliss, winner of eight races so far this year, but who has not seen the top slot on the podium since race 1 at Misano. Having spent the last three years in MotoGP, the last time Troy raced at Brands Hatch was in 2002 when he scored a third and a second place behind Colin Edwards (Honda), his arch-rival that year.
"I remember Brands Hatch well" declared Troy. "I scored my second-ever WSBK win there in 2000, when I passed Neil Hodgson in the last corner with one lap to go and he didn't have a chance. Then he beat me in the second race but never mind! Brands isn't actually as physical as a lot of tracks but to do a good lap there is difficult because it's quite technical and more like an old-style track. There are some physical points but it's not actually a track that destroys you, unless there's a British heat-wave! I like it and have had some good times there but it's never been really special to me. As for the main threats - James Toseland is going OK but I know how consistently strong Troy Corser can be and Noriyuki Haga always goes very well at Brands Hatch so they are the two probably on my mind, but I just want to go there and do the job in hand. I haven't won for three races. I've got a good points lead but I don't want to ride for points, I want to win races.
Lorenzo Lanzi looked to have turned a corner with a promising qualifying session at Brno that due to tyre problems was not back up in the race but the young Italian will be looking to confirm that form on the UK track.
"Brands Hatch is a track that I really like, there's a fantastic public and this time round there will be just a small part of my fan club, only a dozen or so but they will surely make themselves heard! The track is a bit dangerous in places but it certainly adds to the spectacle. I enjoy racing at Brands and I'm going there with the intention of doing a couple of good races. My best result was two eighth places last year with the Caracchi Ducati 999RS. Recently I've had a few problems with the tyres. At Silverstone and Misano I had the problems on Friday, while at Brno they only emerged on the Sunday after during the weekend I had been back up at the front again. Hopefully at Brands it'll all go well from this point of view. We showed at Brno that we were going well and we could have got a couple of podiums, hopefully now my luck will change."