Points Leader Toseland (Ducati Fila) Ready for Brands Hatch Thriller Brands Hatch (UK), 29 July 2004: World Superbike returns to Britain for the second time this season, this time to Brands Hatch in Kent, for its flagship event, which every year...
Points Leader Toseland (Ducati Fila) Ready for Brands Hatch Thriller
Brands Hatch (UK), 29 July 2004: World Superbike returns to Britain for the second time this season, this time to Brands Hatch in Kent, for its flagship event, which every year attracts well in excess of 100,000 fans.
Two gutsy races at Laguna Seca, California see Ducati Fila rider James Toseland return home as championship leader once again in this see-saw season, three points ahead of his French team-mate Regis Laconi, but only 14 ahead of the fast-emerging Ten Kate Honda rider, Chris Vermeulen, winner of the last three races.
The 23-year-old Toseland from Sheffield, whose singleton win this season came at the Valencia opener, knows that the Brands Hatch race is the one to win and will be making every effort to shine in front of an expected sell-out British crowd.
"Brands Hatch is my home track and there will be a lot of pressure and a lot of expectation not only from everyone else but from myself as well. I look forward to Brands, it's always one of those weekends when you get to Sunday night with two good results and have a big deep breath and think 'thank god that's over and done with!'. My results there have been pretty good, I beat all the World Superbike boys last year, finishing third behind the wild-cards in race 2.
"The best part of the circuit is Dingle Dell. Although the new corner is not as good as the old one, it's still very exciting, while the trickiest part of the track is Surtees, before you go onto the back straight, but there isn't really one corner where I think 'I can't get round this one'.
"At Brands you're close to the track, you can see a lot, there's a fantastic atmosphere, and hopefully the weather will be nice. It's just a great event, to see the bikes and the racers so close is what Brands Hatch is all about" he added.
Twenty-nine year-old Laconi, a five-time winner this year, also enjoys the challenging and undulating Brands Hatch track and will be doing his best to add to his victory total as the WSBK championship reaches moves into the final part of the season.
"The Brands Hatch race is important because I have to start to get some more good results for the championship and try to win there" declared Laconi. "I'm not really worried about the situation because we are doing a good job with the team and working very hard to see what we can do now and for the rest of the season.
"At Brands I like the right corner after the back straight, Hawthorn Bend. It's very fast, you arrive and brake there and you need a lot of courage for that corner. For me the most difficult part is the chicane, Dingle Dell. Even though it has changed a bit, it's still difficult to see exactly where to go.
"Now there are three of us fighting hard for the championship. It's very important to concentrate on the last four races but I am ready physically and mentally. I know I have to be at 100% because for sure I have to win," he concluded.
LANZI (DUCATI BREIL) BACK IN ACTION AFTER TWO MONTH BREAK
Brands Hatch (UK), 29 July 2004: Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati Breil), together with the rest of the World Supersport contenders, will be shaking off the rust this weekend at the tricky Brands Hatch circuit as they head to Kent for round 7 of 10 after almost a two-month break.
The last time Lanzi was in Britain was mid-June at Silverstone, where he finished just off the podium in fourth place, and this, coupled with the 22-year-old Italian's gritty determination and the Ducati 749R's development progress, indicates that another encouraging result could be on the cards this weekend.
"I am a bit rusty due to the fact that I haven't raced for six weeks, but I've been keeping myself fit and I'm ready for Brands Hatch" declared Lorenzo.
"The Brands Hatch track is not like Silverstone, that's for sure, because it's full of ups and downs and that's going to be hard for us. However we hope to be able to get a good set-up straightaway because that will help to compensate for other difficulties.
"I am currently lying sixth in the championship with 50 points and I hope to be able to remain in the top 6, both at Brands and the remaining rounds of the championship, that would be a good result for us this year.
"We know that the other guys are going well but we aim to get amongst them and give them a bit of trouble, like we did at Silverstone. The 749R is improving all the time ... and so am I!" he concluded.