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Sixth consecutive win for Hodgson

Published: 22 April 2003

Hodgson has continued his unbroken winning streak taking both races at the third round of the World Superbike championship in Sugo, Japan.

Race one saw a big crash on the first corner with four Riders brought down when Ivan Clemmenti tried to slip his Bertocchi Kawasaki down the inside of Tory Corser's FP1. The pair ended up sliding across the track in to the rest of the field taking out Frankie Chili and leaving Chris Walker summersaulting across the gravel trap.

The lead three riders got away unscathed letting Hodgson follow Regis Laconi and wild-card Atsushi Watanabe away from the rest of the field.

That didn't last long though as Hodgson powered in to the lead and managed to hang on to first place. He eventually finished seven seconds ahead of second place Laconi.

Watanabe ran wide twice in a row dropping back to last place but managed to fight his way back to an eighth place finish.

By lap 10 Xaus had clawed his way back to fourth after starting 12th on the grid, holding it to the end of the race. He was followed by Gregorio Lavilla in fifth and wild-card Hitoyasu Izutsu in sixth. Lavilla misjudged a corner on lap 13 and was immediately caught by Izutsu and the two riders lead a spirited battle right to the line with Lavilla snatching back fifth place in the last seconds.

Race two almost saw another bad start when Laconi on pole position leg go of the clutch to quickly and nearly flipped his bike off the line.

Neil Hodgson was sitting just behind Laconi on the grid and had to take evasive manoeuvres to avoid shunting him and causing the second pile up of the weekend.

The near miss didn't hinder Hodgsons performance and he went on to take his six consecutive first place after a furious battle with Gregorio Lavilla.

Lavilla lead from the start of the race foiling several attempts by Hodgson to get past him. The Ducati rider nearly lost his bike on lap 5 when he got in to a tank slapper trying to slipstream Lavilla on the back straight.

He finally managed to take his 999 past the equally match Suzuki GSX-R1000 on lap six but Lavilla wouldn't let him go and was on his back wheel right to the end.

Frankie Chili faired much better the second time out hanging off the back of Lavilla's wheel for most of the race, leaving him with his second podium finish of the season.

Hodgsons team-mate Ruben Xaus past James toseland early on in the race but toseland clung on to his rear wheel and the battle between the two Ducati riders saw them finish in fourth and fifth respectively.

Toselands HM Plant Ducati team-mate Chris Walker made a valiant attempt to come back in race two after his first lap gymnastics but crashed out early on limping heavily away from the track on the foot he broke in qualifying.

Laconi also managed to fight back from the terrible start that left him at the back of the field. He took his Ducati 998 up to sixth place just ahead of wild-card Izutsu. The japanese rider stuck with him though and eventually managed to power past him just before the line taking sixth place.

The Supersport race proved to be an exciting one. Stéphane Chambon took the lead right from the start with Carl Muggeridge close by him but the first half of the lap saw the field so close together that places changed constantly.

Chambon managed to hang on to his top position but local wild-card Ryuichi Kiyonari was working his way methodically through the field from his 13th place start on the grid.

The BKM Honda rider took the lead on lap seven and pulled out a considerable gap. Stephane chambon and Christian Kellner moved away from the field trying to catch the Japanese rider and slowly cut down the Honda's lead.

But when Kellner realised that Chambon was not going to catch Kionari he powered past him and quickly caught the Honda rider. He sat behind him for a couple of laps until he saw his chance on the last lap and sped past to take the win.

Times:

Supersport

1 Kellner Christian 39:19.896, 2 Kiyonari Ryuichi 39:20.139, 3 Chambon Stéphane 39:23.088, 4 Kayo Tekkyu 39:30.230, 5 Vermeulen Chris 39:34.168, 6 Muggeridge Karl 39:36.222, 7 Parkes Broc 39:36.428, 8 Vd Goorbergh Jurgen 39:37.492, 9 Riba Pere 39:38.412, 10 Corradi Alessio 39:48.522, 11 Cogan Christophe 39:50.478, 12 Daemen Werner 39:57.339, 13 39:57.380, 14 Nannelli Gianluca 40:03.847, 15 Fujiwara Katsuaki 40:05.416, 16 Vd Bosch Thierry 40:08.909, 17 MacPherson Iain 40:11.446, 18 Lagrive Matthieu 40:17.259, 19 Charpentier Sébastien 40:36.771, Cruciani Stefano DNF, Vankeymeulen Didier DNF, Ulm Robert DNF, Teuchert Jörg DNF, Foret Fabien DNF, Andersen Kai Borre DNF

Superbike Race One

1 Hodgson Neil 37:57.829, 2 Laconi Régis 38:04.996, 3 Toseland James 38:12.682, 4 Xaus Ruben 38:26.128, 5 Lavilla Gregorio 38:30.211, 6 Izutsu Hitoyasu 38:30.413, 7 Pedercini Lucio 38:58.444, 8 Watanabe Atsushi 38:59.983, 9 Haydon James 39:05.261, 10 Borja Juan Bautista 39:09.275 11 Sanchini Mauro 39:15.183, 12 Bussei Giovanni 39:16.799, 13 Borciani Marco 39:25.675, 14 Nakamura Kenichiro 39:25.877, 15 Martin Steve 38:00.830, Tortoroglio Walter DNF, Numata Noriyasu DNF, Clementi Ivan DNF, Corser Troy DNF, Walker Chris DNF, Chili Pierfrancesco DNF.

Superbike Race Two

1 Hodgson Neil 37:56.499, 2 Lavilla Gregorio 37:57.317, 3 Chili Pierfrancesco 37:57.969, 4 Xaus Ruben 38:06.969, 5 Toseland James 38:07.632, 6 Izutsu Hitoyasu 38:18.103, 7 Laconi Régis 38:18.452, 8 Clementi Ivan 38:45.356, 9 Borja Juan Bautista 38:58.269, 10 Sanchini Mauro 39:01.788, 11 Bussei Giovanni 39:05.824, 12 Corser Troy 39:11.783, 13 Borciani Marco 38:03.204, 14 Nakamura Kenichiro 38:06.205, 15 Tortoroglio Walter 38:15.758, Watanabe Atsushi DNF, Numata Noriyasu DNF, Haydon James DNF, Martin Steve DNF, Walker Chris DNF, Pedercini Lucio.