After its recent success at the Monza round of the Superbike World Championship, the HM Plant Ducati/GSE Racing team has turned its focus on achieving even more at this weekend's UK event.

The 5.094km grand prix circuit at Silverstone is a new addition to the SBK calendar for 2002 and remains something of an unknown quantity to the entire entry list. The track, which was originally designed for Formula One competition, provides a real challenge for HM Plant Ducati/GSE Racing riders Neil Hodgson and James Toseland, but one that they truly relish.

"I'm really looking forward to racing at Silverstone," Hodgson said, "I've checked out the circuit and it looks fantastic. It's a proper race track, a bit like Monza. I've raced on the International circuit before, but I'm not sure how much of an advantage that will give me. That said, the GP circuit has some really fast straights, overtaking corners and tight chicanes, which should suit me perfectly. The wild cards will be there or thereabouts, but it's going to be an unfamiliar circuit for them too. The WSB pace has been incredibly hot this year and it could be hard for Hislop and co to keep up.

"My confidence is high after my performances at Monza, so the timing of this event couldn't really be any better. I've had a lot of track time on the HM Plant Ducati and, thanks to my chief engineer Roberto Bonazzi, I'm totally in tune with my machine. This makes me think that it's the right time to push for my first win of 2002.

"I used to feel a lot of extra pressure at my home events, but that's not the case this time. There's pressure on me at every round and that's something that I've got to accept at this level. I'm expected to win or at least get a top three finish in every race, but there's no one who can put as much pressure on me as I do myself. The build-up to this round has been phenomenal and that really adds to the expectation. I've done a lot more PR than I would for an overseas event, but I have a great management team at RBP. They make sure that everything runs smoothly and that nothing deflects my focus away from the racing.

"One thing that will really help fire me up at the weekend is the support of the crowd - it can be worth a second a lap, if they're really on it! I'd like to pass on my appreciation to the fans, not just the ones at Silverstone, but those that have taken the trouble to follow us around the globe. I really can't stress enough just how much their support means to myself and the rest of the team, and I want to let them know that I'll be giving it 100 per cent on every lap to ensure that they go home happy."

Team-mate Toseland has been on outstanding form so far this season, and sees the coming round as another great opportunity to impress. The 21-year old Yorkshireman is eager to repeat the kind of performance that took him to a fifth-placed finish at Monza and in seventh place in the world standings.

"It's a new circuit and I can't deny that I'm nervous, but a lot of that is just anticipation," he admitted, "From what I've seen so far, the GP layout looks like my kind of track - very fast and with plenty of opportunity to pass. I can't wait for Wednesday's test session to get out there and assess the situation.

"I haven't made any dramatic changes to my HM Plant Ducati since Sugo - it's performing so well that it just hasn't been necessary - so it's unlikely that I'll need to do much to it this time. I know that it's going to be great racing in front of a home crowd again and I really want to give them something to cheer about. I've got my sights set on the podium and, after my performance at Monza, I'm feeling confident about my chances."

"Silverstone is very much a level playing field because no one has ridden the new layout yet," commented team manager Colin Wright, "The team enters this round in a far stronger position than the subsequent round last year - the HM Plant Ducatis are working perfectly, the technical crew are well on top of their game and the riders are on good form. We'll know a lot more about the circuit after Wednesday's test, but so far the general feeling is that there's nothing to stop us going all the way."