Press Release
(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)

Brands Hatch (UK), Thursday 4 August: With the spectacular Brands Hatch circuit
in Kent on the outskirts of London hosting this weekends eighth round of the
World Superbike Championship, Frenchman Rgis Laconi and in particular Britains
reigning world champion James Toseland will be searching for further victories
in this years series in front of another massive sell-out crowd. Both riders
were on the podium in the last round at Brno three weeks ago, but a second and a
third place in race 1 were not sufficient to make much of an impact on the
series leader, Troy Corser (Suzuki).

Ducati Corse Superbike Technical Director Ernesto Marinelli explains the varied
nature of the Brands Hatch circuit: Brands is a difficult track because there
are a lot of ups and downs and, like Laguna Seca, it requires a good set-up for
the different parts of the circuit, stiff in certain parts and softer wherever
required. For sure the first curve, Paddock Hill Bend, is tough on the bike
because you go down hard and then back up. At that point the bike undergoes
incredible compression, and thats the thing that creates the biggest problem,
as well as the fact that there can sometimes be contact with other riders at
that point.

Both Toseland and Laconi flew in directly to Brands after a two-day private
testing session at Mugello, Italy on Tuesday and Wednesday, in which they mainly
did development work for Pirelli. Both riders recorded excellent times of
1m54.4s on race tyres at the Tuscany circuit.

24-year-old Toseland is determined to make amends for his poor showing here last
year: It was important to do the tests at Mugello because time on the bike for
me is paramount, even though as far as the championship is going, it looks like
its in Troys hands. But all I want to do from now until the end of the season
is win races, especially at Brands this weekend. We had problems here last year,
it was my worst round, but not everything was my fault. Ive got to get it
together in qualifying this weekend but with the bike now feeling comfortable,
Im ready to go. The first half of the track is very technical, where you need
the bike to steer well round Druids to Graham Hill and the second half is
basically just fast and a bravery thing. Clearways is probably the most
technical corner  off-camber, uphill, tightens up towards the end and youve
got to get the drive down the straight. For all the fans out there, they have
come to see me winning and I m going to do my best to win this weekend!.

For me the testing was just a little bit too close to the race but for sure it
is a good help because it gets you to arrive at Brands in a good condition
declared Laconi. I always enjoy racing at Brands Hatch because it is a track
where the rider can make a big difference. The most important thing is to have a
good feeling with the track because you dont see many of the corners and you
have to know where to go before you go through them. The more difficult place is
Dingle Dell where they changed the corner, because you really have to have a
good feeling through there. Last year I was fast but this year I am faster at
all the corners and riding much better. The rest of the season is going to be
tough and we will have to fight race by race, but the title battle is never over
until its over. I think I will do nothing special in August, just training, a
little bit on the beach and relax before the rest of the races.


Brands Hatch has been a permanent fixture in the WSBK calendar since 1993, and
24 races have been held there. One rider has won both races of the day on
numerous occasions, starting with Giancarlo Falappa in 1993 and continuing with
Carl Fogarty (1994), Colin Edwards (1999), Ben Bostrom (2001), Edwards (2002),
Shane Byrne (2003) and Noriyuki Haga (2004). Edwards has won the most races, 6
compared to Fogartys 3, and the Texan also has the most podium finishes (9) and
fastest laps (4). Neil Hodgson leads the pole position table, the Brit setting 4
straight poles between 2000 and 2002. Only Ducati and Honda have ever won races
at Brands Hatch, the Italian manufacturer taking 18 wins to Hondas 6. The lap
record is held by Shane Byrne (Ducati) with a time of 1m26.755s (2003), and his
qualifying mark to beat in qualifying stands at 1m26.248s, while Steve Martins
(Ducati) Superpole mark stands at 1m27.213s.

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after 7 of 12 rounds)

 1. Corser (Suzuki)          299
 2. Vermeulen (Honda)        205
 3. Laconi (Ducati Xerox)    187
 4. Kagayama (Suzuki)        158
 5. Toseland (Ducati Xerox)  152
 6. Haga (Yamaha)            122

 1. Suzuki    308
 2. Ducati    230
 3. Honda     221
 4. Yamaha    163
 5. Kawasaki  119
 6. Petronas   17