Silverstone: Team Ducati preview

Championship leader Hodgson (Ducati Fila) goes for home wins at Silverstone Championship leader Neil Hodgson (Ducati Fila) returns home this weekend for the British Round of the World Superbike Championship at the legendary Silverstone circuit...

Championship leader Hodgson (Ducati Fila) goes for home wins at Silverstone

Championship leader Neil Hodgson (Ducati Fila) returns home this weekend for the British Round of the World Superbike Championship at the legendary Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire. Hodgson's nine-race winning run was brought to an end at Oschersleben two weeks ago by fellow-Brit James Toseland (HM Plant Ducati) but that won't stop the Isle of Man resident from aiming for a double win again on Sunday in front of thousands of his home fans.

Although pleased to be back on home territory, Hodgson said he was not impressed with the new part of the circuit just before the start-finish straight. "I'm not pleased to be racing at Silverstone because they've made changes without consulting the riders, the chicane is way too tight and it doesn't make for good racing" declared Neil, "but I am pleased to be racing at home for all the spectators. My job is to go out and race on Sunday and it doesn't change the way I ride or approach the race however. I've not been able to exercise much this week because I'm a bit full of 'flu. It's nice to have a points cushion over everyone else and I'm really enjoying the season so far as you can expect!"

Despite a third place finish here last year in the wet, Ducati Fila team-mate Ruben Xaus insisted that conditions at Silverstone always made life tough for the riders. "So far this season has been difficult for me because I still haven't got a good feeling with the bike. Valencia was good because we tested a lot there and Phillip Island also but in the last few rounds I've been having a few problems" said Ruben. "Silverstone is quite a new track for us with a new chicane for 'scooters' but for me it's dangerous. Conditions are also difficult here, especially in the wet, like last year. I went OK here in 2002 but now I need to find a good set-up and try to get the new 999 to work as well as possible for me".

CIRCUIT: Since its beginnings as a grand prix circuit in 1948, the bleak, wind-swept Silverstone track has changed totally beyond recognition. Major improvements and development work have been carried out to the circuit access roads and the track itself, which now measures 5.036 km after a tight new chicane has been inserted between Luffield and Woodcote. In 2002 Silverstone hosted the British Round of the WSBK championship for the first time and welcomed a massive crowd of 61,000 for the three-day event.

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Neil Hodgson , Ruben Xaus , James Toseland , Phillip Island