2003 WSB Valencia Results

March 2, 2003
By MotorcycleUSA Staff
Neil Hodgson lived up to the World Superbike pre-season hype on Sunday at the Valencia circuit in Spain. The Fila Ducati pilot rode the new-for-2003 Ducati 999 to two victories and collected a perfect 50 points at the first round of the World Superbike championship.

Hodgson dominated both races - Valencia
Neil Hodgson was perfect at the first round of the World Superbike Championship.

“Fastest in every practice session, pole, lap record, double win on my worst track so I’m so pleased with everything, explained Hodgson after the second race. “I made one mistake in race 2 when I was braking into the first corner with a back-marker on the inside. He moved to the outside and nearly pushed me off the track so I was screaming in my helmet, thinking it was all over.”

Hodgson’s teammate Ruben Xaus rode two excellent races, finishing in second place twice to end the weekend in second in the overall standings with 40 points.

The final rostrum spot went to HM Plant Ducati’s Chris Walker in the first contest. Walker and fellow Brit, James Toseland set the pace early grabbing the holeshot, but couldn’t hold off the talents of Hodgson who won the first race by over five seconds.

Toseland had to settle for fourth in race one, but rebounded in the second to take the final podium spot in race two.

Just as many predicted the results of the first two World Superbike races were dominated by the Ducati brand. Gregorio Lavilla’s two top ten finishes along with Tory Corser’s seventh in race two were the only top 10 appearance by a non-Ducati machine all weekend, which confirmed the glaring lack of manufacturer diversity in the 2003 series.

The debut of the Foggy Petronas Squad got off to a rough start in race one when Corser crashed out while running in ninth place on the 10th lap. Corser rebounded in the second race and scored the first top-10 finish for the FP1 World Superbike.

Results Race 1:
1. Neil Hodgson, (Ducati)
2. Ruben Xaus, (Ducati)
3. Chris Walker, (Ducati)
4. James Toseland, (Ducati)
5. Regis Laconi, (Ducati)
6. Steve Martin, (Ducati)
7. Gregorio Lavilla, (Ducati)
8. Lucio Pedercini, (Ducati)
9. Marco Borciani, (Ducati)
10. David Garcia, (Ducati)

Results Race 2:
1. Neil Hodgson, (Ducati)
2. Ruben Xaus, (Ducati)
3. James Toseland, (Ducati)
4. Chris Walker, (Ducati)
5. Steve Martin, (Ducati)
6. Gregorio Lavilla, (Ducati)
7. Troy Corser, (Petronas)
8. Juan Bautista Borja, (Ducati)
9. Lucio Pedercini, (Ducati)
10. Marco Borciani, (Ducati)

Championship Standings:
1. N. Hodgson – 50
2. R. Xaus – 40
3. J. Toseland – 29
4. C.Walker – 29
5. S. Martin – 21
6. G. Lavilla – 19
7. L. Pedercini – 15
8. M. Borciani – 13
9. R. Laconi – 11
10. J. Borja – 10