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Xaus keeps cool for race two win

13 July 2003

After throwing away a potential race victory earlier in the afternoon, Fila Ducati rider Ruben Xaus made no mistake in the second race of the day at Laguna Seca as he cruised home to a comfortable 12 second win over factory teammate Neil Hodgson.

In a race that only saw ten finishers from 21 starters, Xaus took the lead from a fiercely battling pack in the early going of the 28-lapper and never looked back as he claimed his third win in four races.

Hodgson had to fight his way past ex British Superbike arch rival Chris Walker to claim second after falling to the back of a group of six bikes originally battling for fourth behind Xaus, James Toseland and Hodgson. However when Toseland crashed half way down the infamous corkscrew on lap 18, Hodgson was forced to back right off to avoid hitting his British countryman, which allowed Walker, Regis Laconi, Gregorio Lavilla and Aaron Yates to sneak past.

Walker eventually had to give best to the factory Ducati, but still only crossed the finishing line 1.5secs behind the 2003 Champion elect with Laconi, a grip less Lavilla and Ducati Austin's Giovanni Bussei rounding out the top six.

DFX Racing's Juan Borja, Kawasaki's Mauro Sanchini, Marco Borciani and Lucio Pedercini were the only other riders running at the finish although Sanchini's Kawasaki Bertocchi teammate Ivan Clementi would have made it eleven finishers had he not crashed on the very last corner.

The combination of a dusty, sandy track, typically boiling July Monterrey skies and the twisty, undulating, sinuous nature of Laguna Seca made race two a crash-fest almost from the word go as race one winner Frankie Chili made a spectacular exit as the field made their way up the hill on the opening lap, to be followed in quick succession by James Haydon, Walter Tortoroglio, Jiri Mrkyvka, Toseland, the luckless Yates who crashed leaving the final hairpin.


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