After two rounds of literally up and down results, Factory Ducati rider Regis Laconi finally launched his 2004 World Superbike championship challenge at Misano on Sunday, with a win and second under difficult conditions.

The 28 year-old Frenchman won the first race, which was stopped six laps from the end due to the rain, holding off Troy Corser for his second win of the season

"In race 1 I went slowly at the beginning because of the damp track. Then I realised that I was faster than the rest so I went to catch them one by one. The last lap was so dangerous and it was a good solution to stop the race," declared Laconi.

But it was the second race that demonstrated Laconi's determination: After choosing 'wets' for the race, Regis led all the way on a drying track until the last lap, when he was passed by Pierfrancesco Chili. The Italian had opted for an intermediate rear tyre, which proved to last the pace better on a drying track in the 25-lap race.

"The second race was really difficult because I was in the lead for 24 laps and then Chili passed me on the back straight on the final lap," he admitted. "We went for full wets because we thought it was going to rain again. Chili went for an intermediate rear, and he caught me on the last lap.

"I am very happy because I couldn't do much more today with the tyres I chose. I was sliding the rear around all over the track! Finally I got the results I wanted to kick start my championship!"

Meanwhile, two cautious races from the fifth row of the grid for Ducati Fila team-mate James Toseland saw tenth and sixth place finishes on a day of damage limitation.

"I couldn't do much more from 20th place on the grid" he sighed. "There is only one dry line and it's difficult to pass because when you go offline it's damp. I should have had eighth in race 1 but Pedercini fell off in front of me, I had to avoid him and then the other two guys came past.

"In race 2 I went from 20th to 6th but unless you rely on people's misfortune you can't do any better than that. It was just one of those weekends really, I had to get as many points as I can and keep in touch with the championship," added the Brit.



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