Following the recent war of words between Neil Hodgson and Carl Fogarty, the newly announced d'Antin Ducati rider has tried to calm the atmosphere by setting the record straight.

The whole rather embarrassing saga began when Hodgson was quoted in Britain's Motorcycle News as saying: "I don't fear Rossi liked Foggy feared Doohan. Carl would never admit that but that's probably why he never took up the challenge. He talked about it but never did it. But I'm going to do it. I want to be judged against the best riders in the world and that means in MotoGP."

That report triggered a scathing response from Fogarty (lower pics): "I think it's a cowardly comment. The simple truth is that I never got a chance to ride in GPs. I would have loved to have been given that chance, because I was certainly never scared of anyone on the track.

"It's cowardly because I can't go out there and race anymore and do anything about it. And people will know for sure that it's an absolute lie. They will realise that Neil is trying hard not to be boring. He has a long way to go before he can be mentioned in the same breath as me. He has won nothing yet - he was given the World Superbike title this year."

However, Hodgson now seems to be trying to seek peace by toning down the original MCN report - which he confesses 'maybe looked like an attack on Carl' - by emphasising it was only his opinion, and that he has huge respect for the four-times WSBK champion.

"You've probably read a whole load of stuff about me and Carl Fogarty going at each other. Well, my website seems to be the best place to put the record straight once and for all so here it is, the last official statement on the whole mess," he wrote on

"Around the time that Carl retired he was quoted, rightly or wrongly, as saying that he thought he was a better rider than Mick Doohan. I was asked what my personal opinion of that statement was and my opinion, which I think I'm fully entitled to, was that I considered Mick Doohan to have been a better rider than Carl Fogarty and, in my opinion, I doubt whether Carl would really have wanted to race against him because of that. And that's it.

"As a rider I respect Carl so much and always have," continued the 2003 WSBK champ. "I totally look up to him as a motorcycle racer and I think he's achieved so much for racing and for World Superbikes. In the press my opinion maybe looked like an attack on Carl, but it wasn't. Now he's saying some pretty crazy things in the press and I'm sorry, but I'm not entering into a public slanging match. That's it, over, case closed."

In this week's MCN - who are a personal sponsor of Hodgson - the rift is hyped further by a Hodgson v Fogarty article 'to see who's toughest'.

In it, both Brits are asked who they would use one free punch on - Fogarty chose Hodgson after his recent comments about him... Hodgson picked Osama Bin Laden.



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