Much maligned Spaniard Ruben Xaus
completed his first career World Superbike double on Sunday as he passed factory Ducati teammate Neil Hodgson
on the final lap with a brave move along Misano's long, fast back straight.
The second race of the seventh round of the 2003 World Superbike Championship provided just as much tension and excitement as the first with Xaus and Hodgson racing side by side down Misano's back straight at more than 270kmh on the 25th and final tour of the 2.523-mile Adriatico circuit. Although he was on the outside line heading into the feared Tramonto corner, Xaus outbraked his grip-less teammate and somehow held on over the final half-lap, both riders slithering about wildly on their completely cooked rear Michelin's.
Behind the two factory teammates Pierfrancesco Chili kept the Team PSG-1 Ducati right in the thick of things for most of the race, swapping the lead with both Hodgson and Xaus before eventually tailing off slightly at the end, perhaps mindful of his last lap tumble out of second place in race one. The veteran Italian held on for third place however, crossing the line eight seconds behind Hodgson but seven ahead of fourth place finisher Regis Laconi.
Gregorio Lavilla was the first non-Ducati rider home in fifth position, taking advantage of James Toseland's lap 14 mechanical problem while Lucio Pedercini put in his best performance of the season to take a superb sixth place, just two seconds behind Lavilla.
Vittorio Iannuzzo, Chris Walker, Steve Martin
and Troy Corser
rounded out the top ten.