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Airwaves Ducati Ready For First Round of BSB - March 24th 2005

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    London, UK (24th March)- After a year away from competitive track action the Airwaves Ducati team has honed itself to full readiness for the first challenge of the 2005 British Superbike season, at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent. Leon Haslam and Gregorio Lavilla, the latter standing in for the injured James Haydon, will be equipped with Ducati 999F04 machines; top level equipment with the same specification as the 2004 World Superbike Championship winner, and from the same Ducati Corse stable that has played such an integral part in GSE's proven track record.

    This year the GSE squad will feature a new title sponsor, Wrigley's Airwaves, a high-street brand which once more broadens the appeal of the sport itself.

    Re-forging a successful relationship with Dunlop, and starting a new era with Q8Oils, the team is prepared for yet another challenging season, with a full complement of supporting and technical partners playing an integral role. They include Teng Tools, Dainese, Renthal, D.I.D. Malaguti, GSE Group, Dread, DAF, Alphabet and Rage Designs.

    The team is going for its third outright British Championship win, after powering Troy Bayliss and Neil Hodgson to the title, in 1999 and 2000 respectively. After three subsequent fruitful campaigns in World Superbike GSE Racing elected to sit out the transitional 2004 season. Their inclusion in the British racing ranks once again underlines the fact that the competitiveness of the British series is the toughest and most comprehensive of any national championship in the world.

    Brands Hatch has been the venue for considerable GSE Racing success in the past, and this year it brackets the entire championship, playing host to the forthcoming alpha round on Monday 28th March and the omega meeting, on October 9th. With interest in the championship at another new high, in large part due to the reappearance of GSE Racing, a record-breaking crowd is expected to flock to the greenbelt amphitheatre that is the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit. The 2005 BSB season consists of 13 rounds of double-header combat, across England, Scotland and Ireland.

    After a Ducati 999-mounted BSB race win in changeable weather conditions at Brands Hatch in 2004, and some outstanding testing performances in recent weeks, Haslam has positive thoughts about the forthcoming season opener. "I'm really looking forward to the start of the season after all the testing we've done. Valencia and Albacete went very well and I was two seconds faster than anyone else, so I can't wait to see what the competition is like in the UK. The most pleasing thing is that when we came to Albacete, right after Valencia, the set-up of the bike was basically the same. Just a couple of clicks on the suspension and I could run consistently fast laps. This is a dream opportunity for me, and I intend to make the most of it with Airwaves Ducati."

    Team Manager Colin Wright, enthused to be back in the thick of the action and sure of the team's proven abilities, is expecting the usual high standard of performance, even at this early stage. "Our testing programme was interrupted by bad weather on occasion but the more recent sessions have allowed us to make progress. Up until the last couple of tests we gave the riders some leeway in terms of set-up, so they could try all the possibilities. Leon did a long run and was consistently quick at Albacete. The lap record, we believe, is 1'31.5s but Leon did a 31.2s on a race tyre. He also did a 1'30.5s on qualifier, which proves his speed all the more. It' s a pity James is unfit for Brands due to injury but in Gregorio we have one of the world's most experienced riders on our side for our return to active duty."