Press Release
(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)
DUCATI CORSE PRESS INFORMATION
TWO PODIUMS FOR LACONI AND TWO SIXTHS FOR TOSELAND AS DUCATI XEROX
TEAM STARTS 2005 WSBK CAMPAIGN

Losail (Qatar), Saturday 26 February: Rgis Laconi scored two podium finishes
today, a third and a second place, at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar
in the first round of what promises to be an exciting World Superbike
championship. Team-mate James Toseland got the defence of his world title
underway with two sixth place finishes as he was still feeling the effects of
last weekends crash.

RACE 1:

Laconi finished runner-up in both parts of race 1, which was interrupted for
rain just after half distance. The Frenchman was then unable to make up the
deficit to part 2 leader Kagayama and eventual winner Corser and had to settle
for the final podium slot. I made a so-so start and just tried to pass the guys
in front of me immediately because I was fourth on the first lap. It feels tough
to finish second in both races and end up third overall but those are the
regulations and I am just happy to be on the podium.

Toseland started from thirteenth on the grid but had a particularly good final
few laps to finish in sixth position. I got two good starts and we hung in
there. I was two-tenths off getting fifth in the aggregate but considering
everything thats happened this week, its a solid start. The confidence is
coming again, I needed some dry time and I can only get that in the races.

RACE 2:

Laconi took 10 laps to get past Corser into second place, but he was unable to
do anything about Kagayama, who claimed his maiden World Superbike win. I tried
to catch Yukio in the final laps but it wasnt easy and when I saw it was easy
to slide I told myself to just ride and settle for second and thats what I did.
I did the best that I could do today and it was important for me to start the
championship with two results, unlike last year, and get my season off to a good
start.

Toseland was caught up in a seven-rider battle for fourth place for much of the
race, but he eventually passed Pitt, Abe (Yamaha) and Neukirchner (Honda) to
clinch his second sixth place finish of the day in a photo-finish with Chili.
Two sixths from thirteenth place is OK, as far as the championship goes Im
joint fifth, which is not what I wanted but at least its solid. Towards the end
of the race I was lapping as quick as the leaders. After Sundays crash I needed
some dry time and I just didnt get it. We havent been able to try everything
we wanted and that made the whole weekend difficult for me. Im disappointed but
I know I could have been out for a couple of rounds with last weeks crash, so
Ill take these results any day.

RESULTS RACE 1:

 1. Corser (Suzuki)
 2. Kagayama (Suzuki)
 3. Laconi (Ducati Xerox)
 4. Pitt (Yamaha)
 5. Haga (Yamaha)
 6. Toseland (Ducati Xerox)

RACE 2 :

 1. Kagayama
 2. Laconi
 3. Corser
 4. Vermeulen (Honda)
 5. Chili (Honda)
 6. Toseland

POINTS (after 1 of 12 rounds) :

Riders
Kagayama        45
Corser          41
Laconi          36
Vermeulen       21
Pitt & Toseland 20

Manufacturers
Suzuki          50
Ducati          36
Yamaha          22
Honda           21
Kawasaki         7
Petronas         1
RELEASE INDEX