Ducati Monza qualifying report

Neil Hodgson took his third pole position of the year in the final minute of the Superpole session this afternoon ahead of tomorrow's Italian World Superbike Round at Monza. In a session declared wet but mainly run in the dry, the 29-year-old...

Neil Hodgson took his third pole position of the year in the final minute of the Superpole session this afternoon ahead of tomorrow's Italian World Superbike Round at Monza. In a session declared wet but mainly run in the dry, the 29-year-old Ducati Fila rider just edged out Pierfrancesco Chili (PSG-1 Ducati) with a record lap of 1'46.981, setting up a classic showdown between the championship leader and the local crowd favourite.

"It's not going to be easy tomorrow - declared Neil - because the unexpected can always happen on this track. I don't think anyone will be able to pull away at the front, but hopefully I can get Ducati's 200th win. I've not got a strategy for tomorrow and I won't have until the race starts. What will be important are the last few laps and I know for sure we're looking good on our race tyre".

Ruben Xaus was forced to miss Superpole after a incident just a couple of minutes into the morning's final qualifying session. Xaus slammed into Clementi's Kawasaki on the track after the Italian had crashed seconds before. Ruben remained unconscious on the track for about one minute before being taken to the circuit medical centre with concussion and chest trauma, as well as a cut on his inner thigh which required a few stitches. He returned to the Ducati garage to watch the end of Superpole and a decision will be taken tomorrow morning on whether Ruben can race. He will eventually line up on row 4.

"Unfortunately I found a Kawasaki on the track in front of me at the Ascari chicane and I just couldn't see a thing through all the dust that had been thrown up - declared Ruben - so I ended up hitting him. For some time I couldn't remember much about the incident but I've had a rest and feel OK now and I'll be on the grid tomorrow for the two races".

TIMES: 1. Hodgson (Ducati Fila) 1'46.981; 2. Chili (PSG-1 Ducati) 1'47.096; 3. Toseland (HM Plant Ducati) 1'47.502; 4. Laconi (NCR Ducati) 1'47.537; 5. Lavilla (Suzuki) 1'47.964; 6. Pedercini (Ducati) 1'48.281; 7. Walker (HM Plant Ducati) 1'49.003; 8. Iannuzzo (Suzuki) 1'49.350.

TV COVERAGE : Eurosport (Europe) - Sunday 18 May, Race 1 1200 (live), Race 2 1900 (delayed). RAI (Italy) - Sunday 18 May, Race 1 1240 (delayed), Race 2 1705 (delayed).

-ducati-

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