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From a press release:
Superbike World Championship
Round four: Sugo, Japan
Wednesday 17 April 2002
HM Plant Ducati/GSE Racing in the land of the rising wild card
Britain's number one World Superbike rider, Neil Hodgson, and his increasingly successful team-mate James Toseland enter the final leg of the fly-away phase of the 2002 championship. The HM Plant Ducati/GSE Racing team arrived in Japan well before Friday's initial practice session and have been busy preparing for the fourth round of the series in Sugo.
As well as facing their regular adversaries, both riders are fully prepared for the event and are looking forward to doing battle with the factory-mounted wild card riders that so dominated last year's competition at the 3.73km circuit.
"I really want to close the points gap before the series returns to Europe," said Hodgson. "I love Sugo and have challenged myself to secure a podium finish here. After coming so close at Kyalami, it would be extra-special for me to do it this weekend. The Japanese wild cards are incredibly competitive, but we found a great set-up for this circuit in 2001, and this year we're in an even stronger position than before. So, it looks like everything's in place to help me achieve my goal."
James Toseland is determined to maintain his recent run of form: "Things are going really well for me at the moment and I'm not planning on letting up now. Sugo is a great track – very challenging and technical – and last year I managed to beat some of the top WSBK riders around it. I've had plenty of time to acclimatise to the conditions and I feel on top form. Physically and mentally, I'm more than ready for the weekend."
1. M. Tamada (Hon) 37:45.090; 2. T. Corser (Apr) +4.090; 3. H. Izutsu (Kaw) +7.668; 4. S. Ito (Hon) +12.117; 5. A. Ryo (Suz) +12.431; 6. G. Lavilla (Suz) +18.697; 7. N. Hodgson (GSE Racing) +19.091; 8. P. Chili (Suz) +19.224; 9. B. Bostrom (Duc) +25.008; 10. W. Yoshikawa (Yam) +25.307; 11. J. Toseland (GSE Racing) +36.006
1. M. Tamada (Hon) 37:43.033; 2. H. Izutsu (Kaw) +3.122; 3. T. Serizawa (Kaw) +4.303; 4. B. Bostrom (Duc) +5.988; 5. N. Hodgson (GSE Racing) +9.022; 6. T. Corser (Apr) +11.788; 7. A. Ryo (Suz) +17.504; 8. P. Chili (Suz) +17.810; 9. S. Ito (Hon) +10.088; 10. Y. Kagayama (Suz) +19.238; 16. J. Toseland (GSE Racing) +54.583
Lap record: M. Tamada 1:29.522 (2001)
Superpole: M. Tamada 1:28.797 (2001)
Qualifying: M. Tamada 1:28.658 (2001)
In other HM Plant Ducati news:
We are proud to announce the launch of a very special credit card. GSE Racing has teamed up with MBNA to offer you the chance to aid Neil Hodgson and James Toseland in their bid for World Superbike glory.
THE GSE RACING MASTERCARD
The GSE Racing MasterCard carries a fantastic image of Britain's number one Superbike rider Neil Hodgson in action. Not only does it look the business, but it could help you save money with it's competive interest rates.
The best thing about the deal is that when you take out the GSE Racing MasterCard and make purchases with it, you are helping the team. MBNA has pledged to make a donation to the team every time the card is used.
To find out more about this fantastic deal check out http://www.hmplantducati.com
Get ready for a big prize competiton, being launched around the card in the very near future.