Brands Hatch: Team Ducati preview

Brands Hatch (England), Thursday 24 July: The Ducati Fila team faces a crucial time this weekend at Brands Hatch as the World Superbike Championship moves to the legendary British circuit for round 9 of 12. The Laguna Seca results, which saw Neil...

Brands Hatch (England), Thursday 24 July: The Ducati Fila team faces a crucial time this weekend at Brands Hatch as the World Superbike Championship moves to the legendary British circuit for round 9 of 12. The Laguna Seca results, which saw Neil Hodgson grab two excellent second places after a difficult weekend and Ruben Xaus take a race 2 win, mean that the British rider has increased his championship lead over the Spaniard to 122 points.

With four rounds and eight races left, Ducati now need just six points on Sunday to ensure that they clinch the World Superbike Constructors' title for a record twelfth time. For the Riders' championship, the situation is more uncertain, but if Hodgson gains 28 points on his team-mate over this weekend's two races, then the title will go to the British rider.

Neil Hodgson, who hasn't won since the Silverstone round in mid-June, returns to his favourite circuit on the calendar with the intention of doing the double in front of his home crowd.

"I've got a good lead in the championship so I can start to think about the percentage game but I'm not going to" declared Neil. "I was genuinely pleased to get two second places at Laguna, but I feel relaxed about racing at Brands. I love the place and want to get dialled in early on at the weekend. I know every bump in the road and that makes my job a bit easier. I know what to expect from the bike and know what changes to make".

Ruben Xaus is the rider most in form at the moment, with three wins in the last four races after looking particularly impressive at Laguna Seca. "I could have had four wins from four races, but we did well at Misano and Laguna and I hope to continue that here" said Ruben. "It's going to be tough because there are a lot of wild-cards and the racing will be impressive. I enjoy Brands, even though I haven't had such a lucky time here. I've been fast so far, the bike is perfect for the race distance and I'll be going for more wins".

NEW SPONSOR : Ducati Corse has signed a sponsorship agreement for the Ducati Fila team, with Italian company STAYER, a leading group in the design, manufacture and distribution of power tools. Founded in Ferrara (Italy) in 1958, STAYER manufactures a wide range of electrical tools, from sophisticated professional machines to light, simple devices for high-level hobby work. The STAYER logo will be visible on the side fairings of Neil Hodgson's and Ruben Xaus's Ducati 999 Factory superbikes from this weekend's Brand Hatch (UK) round onwards, while the company will provide Ducati Corse with some of its products for use in the pit garage and the racing workshop.

CIRCUIT : World championship bike racing arrived at Brands Hatch in 1993 when the circuit held the Irish WSBK Round. Since 1995 Brands Hatch has hosted the European Round in late July/early August and the event has grown in popularity year after year. The 2002 race saw a massive crowd of 126,000 spectators pour through the gates. The undulating 4.221 km track has three left-hand and six right-hand corners and a start/finish straight measuring 380 m.

-tdf-

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Neil Hodgson , Ruben Xaus