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Hodgson takes majestic home win

27 May 2001

Neil Hodgson overcame a fantastic six-rider battle in the opening stages to grab the lead from early race leader Colin Edwards and cruised away to score his first WSB victory of the season in front of a passionate home crowd.

The weather at Donington Park may not have been up to Britain's recent lofty standards and after a wet morning warm-up, some riders were being overly cautious on their tyre choices.

Not so Neil Hodgson who quickly made his way to the front after getting away in fourth spot and proceeded to pull out a six second lead before backing off and coasting home to victory.

Behind Hodgson a superb battle raged for the entire 25-lap race distance as Steve Hislop, Frankie Chili, Ruben Xaus, Ben Bostrom and a host of others squabbled over the remaining podium positions with Chili finally snatching second from Hislop on the very last turn.

Hodgson's GSE Racing Ducati was clearly the class of the field and the 27-year old now moves into sixth place in the Championship as many other of the top names struggled for grip.

Edwards, Championship leader Troy Bayliss and Troy Corser all experienced tyre difficulties with Edwards losing out to Castrol Honda team-mate Tadayuki Okada for fourth in the closing stages while Corser and Bayliss fell to a dismal 11th and 13th respectively with Corser's Aprilia team-mate Regis Laconi providing a valuable late buffer-zone between the two Australian Championship challengers.

Bostrom and Xaus provided some respite for the factory Ducati operation with sixth and seventh behind Edwards while James Toseland made a fine late charge on the second GSE Racing Ducati to claim eighth.

Stephane Chambon finished ninth after passing Corser late in the race while Gregorio Lavilla completed the top ten for Kawasaki.


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