Valencia (Spain), Sunday 24 April: Round 3 of the World Superbike
Championship proved to be a difficult weekend for the Ducati Xerox Team as
Régis Laconi missed both races due to a crash in the morning warm-up, while
James Toseland did the best he could from a sixth row starting-grid
"Unfortunately it was a weekend to forget for us" declared Ducati
Xerox Team director Paolo Ciabatti. "This morning Régis was quicker than
everyone in the warm-up but his crash meant that he could not take part in
the two races, in which I am sure he would have given Corser a hard time.
James on the other hand, was unable to find the right direction in
qualifying and this conditioned his two races on Sunday. Now is the time to
concentrate on Monza and focus all of our energies on the next round, which
is traditionally an important appointment for Superbike and for Ducati".
Laconi was ruled out of the action today after a crash half-way
through the morning warm-up, when contact was made with a slow-moving rider
on the outside of the final curve. Laconi suffered concussion and was
immediately examined by on-circuit doctors before being taken to Valencia
hospital for an MRI scan, and for precautionary reasons a decision was taken for him not to race.
"I am fine but now I just need a few days to recover for Monza. It's a
track I like, we are at home and Ducati is always very fast" declared
Laconi. "This was a very big crash and I feel very lucky because I could
easily have broken something and been out of action for some time. I am
obviously disappointed because I wanted to take part in the second race, but
I did receive a big bang on the head and was unconscious for a few minutes
so the doctors said it was better that I didn't."
James Toseland finished eighth in race 1 from his 23rd grid position
and 19th in the second race after he had to make a pit-stop to change the
front wheel following a lap 4 incident caused by another rider.
"I was riding round with people I shouldn't be riding round with,
given the qualifying position" said Toseland. "I got a decent start again
but going into turn 4 a Yamaha came steaming underneath me and pushed me
really wide. I was lucky to stay on and then had to change the front tyre
because the brakes were locking up. Monza is the next race, we just need to
find some traction because there's not much wrong with the top speed of the
bike. We're struggling and we need to find the form again but there's
nothing wrong with the bike and nothing wrong with me. We rode hard in the
first race but couldn't really do much more after going off the track in