2003 WSB Monza Results

May 18, 2003
By MotorcycleUSA Staff
Neil Hodgson remained perfect in the 2003 World Superbike series thanks to another pair of wins at the Monza circuit in Italy in what was the most competitive racing seen so far this season. The Ducati Fila pilot made a last-lap pass on Gregorio Lavilla in the second race to keep the streak alive.

Hodgson and Lavilla battled closely - Monza
Neil Hodgson put a last lap move on Gregorio Lavilla to take his 8th straight win of the season.

Hodgson’s double victory is the 200th and 201st WSB wins for Ducati, which has been dominating the series over the last few years. The British rider also ran his personal winning streak to eight, a new record in the series.

Alstare Suzuki’s Gregorio Lavilla lost out by just 0.044 second in race 2 after taking a third in race 1. Hodgson was in fourth place with less than two laps remaining, but he was able to use the dominating power of the Ducati 999 to take the back the lead and just hold it at the end.

“It was fun out there battling elbow to elbow at 190 mph,” said Neil. “And hats off to Gregorio who rode a fantastic race. Frankie and Regis were also unbelievably aggressive but safe. I had no plan for race 2, I was just lucky, and ended up in the right place at the right time. All sorts of things happened to me out there, the bike wasn’t perfect at the front, I ran over the kerb at the chicane and then after a flying start I lost touch for a few laps. But I managed to focus on the race, get back with the leading group and win. I’m really happy I could get the 200th win for Ducati today.”

“That was our best weekend of the year and it was really good to be able to lead a race and fight with Hodgson for the lead,” said a happy Lavilla. “I knew Neil’s Ducati was much faster and it would be hard to be in front at the end. But I tried my hardest and was leading two laps from the end waiting for Neil to make his move. When he did I stayed with him and looked for a way to get out of his draft, but his bike’s acceleration was better than mine and I couldn’t get ahead before the flag.”

Ducati Caracchi NCR Nortel Networks rider Regis Laconi had a great showing at Monza. The former GP star earned a second place in race 1 and, despite running with the leaders the duration of race 2, ended that contest in fourth position just behind the Italian crowd’s darling, Frankie Chili.

“At some point in race 2, I was really thinking I’d be able to win!” said an excited Laconi, adding his Ducati’s engine went down on power late in the race. “I’m very happy of this result because at the end of the race the track was very slippery and it was difficult to push more. Above all, I’m happy how the tires worked today. I believe that the gap has been cancelled.”

HM Plant’s James Toseland took fourth in the first race and later ended the second race in the fifth position but was a distant five seconds off the pace. 

Ruben Xaus had a tough weekend, crashing and remounting in race 1 to finish seventh, and then crashing out on the final lap of race 2 after making a pass on Toseland.

Superbike Race 1:
1. Neil Hodgson, Ducati
2. Regis Laconi, Ducati
3. Gregorio Lavilla, Suzuki
4. James Toseland, Ducati
5. Frankie Chili, Ducati
6. Chris Walker, Ducati
7. Ruben Xaus, Ducati
8. Marco Borciani, Ducati
9. Steve Martin, Ducati
10. Lucio Pedercini, Ducati

Superbike Race 2:
1. Neil Hodgson, Ducati
2. Gregorio Lavilla, Suzuki
3. Frankie Chili, Ducati
4. Regis Laconi, Ducati
5. James Toseland, Ducati
6. Chris Walker, Ducati
7. Steve Martin, Ducati
8. Marco Borciani, Ducati
9. Vittorio Iannuzzo, Suzuki
10. Lucio Pedercini, Ducati

WSC Championship Standings:
1. Neil Hodgson – 200
2. Ruben Xaus – 115
3. Gregorio Lavilla – 111
4. Regis Laconi – 96
5. James Toseland – 91
6. Chris Walker – 68
7. Frankie Chili – 59
8. Steve Martin – 58
9. Marco Borciani – 48
10. Lucio Pedercini – 44

World Supersport
Ten Kate Honda Chris Vermeulen extended his championship lead with a nine-second victory over Yamaha Belgarda’s Jurgen vd Goorbergh at Monza. Jurgen moves to within one point of Fujiwara in the race for the championship with his effort due to the Japanese rider’s lowly 10th-place finish.

World Supersport Results:
1. Chris Vermeulen, Honda
2. Jurgen vd Goorbergh, Yamaha
3. Ian MacPherson, Honda
4. Stephane Chambon, Suzuki
5. Fabien Foret, Kawasaki
6. Sebastien Charpentier, Suzuki
7. Christian Kellner, Yamaha
8. Alessio Corradi, Yamaha
9. Pere Riba, Kawasaki
10. Katsuaki Fujiwara, Suzuki

World Supersport Championship Standings:
1. Chris Vermeulen – 81
2. Katsuaki Fujiwara – 52
3. Jurgen vd Goorbergh – 51
4. Christian Kellner – 46
5. Stephane Chambon – 42
6. Alessio Corradi – 37
7. Karl Muggeridge – 29
8. Pere Riba – 27
9. Christophe Cogan – 25
10.Jorg Teuchert – 21