Brands Hatch (UK), 1 August 2004: Ducati clinched their thirteenth World Superbike Manufacturers' title at Brands Hatch in a dramatic day of racing in front of a massive crowd, which saw alternating fortunes for Ducati Fila riders Regis...
Brands Hatch (UK), 1 August 2004: Ducati clinched their thirteenth World Superbike Manufacturers' title at Brands Hatch in a dramatic day of racing in front of a massive crowd, which saw alternating fortunes for Ducati Fila riders Regis Laconi and James Toseland and a double win for Renegade Ducati's Japanese rider Noriyuki Haga. The Frenchman battled hard with Haga to finish second in race 1 but then ruined another positive result when he lost the front and crashed out at Graham Hill Bend on lap 19 of race 2.
"What can I say?" declared Laconi. "The big problem is that if I am not in front of Noriyuki, he was slow, and I tried to go faster than him and I felt I was over the limit. That's why I crashed. I tried to go away but I entered too wide pushing hard and lost the front. I am not happy because I am unable to get away from him. I tried my best with the team and the engineers to get the best out of this bike, and we did, so if I crashed it means that I was at the limit. I really want to win this championship and I hope that we will have something new for the last three rounds."
Toseland had an even worse weekend in front of his home crowd. Never quite happy with his set-up, he could only manage seventh in the first encounter of the day. In race 2 his Ducati 999 F04 suffered an oil cooler leak after just three laps, but with the race stopped due to an incident Toseland was able to take the restart on his second bike. This part lasted just two corners as he was wiped out and pitched into the gravel at Druids by Troy Corser (Petronas).
"I've got a stiff neck from the crash, I've dropped from first to fourth in the championship, I've disappointed myself and my home crowd, is there anything else?" commented Toseland. "There's still only eight points in it though, unlucky for Regis but I've had bad luck as well with Corser taking me out. I've had a disappointing weekend at Silverstone and a disappointing one at Brands Hatch. I can only apologise and say I've given 110% all weekend. Sorry to everyone who came to see a British winner, that was down to me. Let's get it over with and move on to the next round".
Ducati's thirteenth win in the Manufacturers' championship comes in seventeen years of top-class World Superbike racing with production-based machinery against constructors from Italy, Japan, and now Malaysia. The Riders' title is now hotting up to be a four-way battle between Laconi, Toseland (Ducati Fila), Vermeulen (Honda) and Haga, with all four riders separated by just eight points with three rounds left to go.
LANZI TAKES TENTH PLACE IN TWO-PART SUPERSPORT RACE
Brands Hatch (UK), 1 August 2004: Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati Breil) scored a top 10 finish in the seventh round of the World Supersport Championship at Brands Hatch.
The 22-year-old Italian, who started from eleventh on the grid, was unable to make much headway in the 23 lap race, which was interrupted after a nasty crash for the Yamaha front-runner Fabien Foret.
"I got a better start this time after the first part had been interrupted" declared Lanzi. "For the first few laps I tried to stay with the guys at the front, but after ten laps I started to have a few problems with the tyres, and the rear was sliding around a lot, so I began to fall back.
"However I am quite pleased, a big thanks to the team because this is a track that we know would be difficult. I feel we didn't do too badly this weekend and we look forward to the next races with optimism.
"Assen, the next round in September, will surely be a more favourable track for our bike than this track and we hope to get a good result in Holland."