Ruben Xaus and Max Biaggi endured a bruising end to their stints with the Sterilgarda Ducati team in the final World Superbike race of the season in Portugal.
Although Biaggi was their best placed rider on the grid, it was Xaus that flew the Sterilgarda flag for most of the day as he put in one of his more convincing performances around the Portimao circuit.
Running up at the front from the start of the first race, Xaus managed to get as high as second but was one of the many riders to struggle with tyre problems towards the end, eventually ending up ninth.
Xaus was running equally well in the second race, but his season came to an abrupt end on lap ten when he high-sided out of the quick final turn and found himself on the tarmac, much to his frustration.
“I hoped to finish the season in a better way, but today I missed the big result,” the future BMW rider said. “I've spent three wonderful seasons with this team and I want to thank all the members of the team and the owners for this adventure. We showed to be a great team once again, and we have been able to be among the best for all the season.”
Biaggi, meanwhile, started a strong fourth following the rain-assisted Superpole, but he admits he never got to grips with the Portuguese circuit, as shown by the fact he led out of the first corner of the second race before plummeting down the order to an eventual 14th.
Taken out of the first race by Michel Fabrizio, a collision that prompted Biaggi to vent his fury at his fellow Roman, he concedes a good result probably wouldn't have been possible regardless.
“I have not found the feeling with the track and the bike for the whole week-end. I did my best and even if Fabrizio did not crashed over me in race-1 the result would have been the same. I gained the first starting line thanks to a good management of the wet Superpole.
“I would have liked to leave the team with a prestigious result but it was not possible. I want to say thank to the team, a group made of qualified and enthusiast persons.”