The past week has been very different for d'Antin Ducati riders Ruben Xaus and Neil Hodgson, with Ruben meeting the King of Spain before travelling to the World Ducati Week, while Neil returned to England to try and heal his Le Mans injuries.

Before leaving for the Ducati event, Xaus joined other Catalan riders at the Madrid International Motor Show, where he visited the RACC stand and met the King of Spain.

Xaus then joined factory Ducati riders Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss - and 20,000 fans - at the Misano based World Ducati Week (middle pic), where he found plenty of fan support... and offered his services as a model.

"It's been wonderful for me to be here as it has allowed me to feel the Italian fans affection for us and their support," said Xaus. "They were the ones that kept reminding me that we're just beginners in MotoGP and that we must be patient.

"The public attendance has been overwhelming and I've been able to participate in many of the activities set for those days, even as a model (top pic) - I must admit that I had lots of fun doing it," he smiled.

Meanwhile, Hodgson's injury's prevented him from joining Xaus at Misano, the reigning World Superbike champion having instead returned to England straight after his French GP fall.

On arrival, Hodgson went through a medical examination that confirmed two of his ribs were broken. He's now doing all he can to be fit for the June 6 Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.

"It's too soon to say if I will be in shape for the next GP, but I'm following the doctors recommendations and hope to be well by then," he said.



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