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Steve Hislop Neil Hodgson

IF Neil Hodgson came away from Brands Hatch disappointed not to have won either of the two World Superbike races there at the weekend, then Steve Hislop must have been pretty gutted.

Similar to Donington in May, the two Isle of Man based riders again finished first and second in the SuperPole session which decides grid starting order - only on this occasion it was Hodgson on top with Hislop just 0.98 of a second slower.

The pair were both in the leading three places for the opening circuit of the first 25-lapper on Sunday afternoon, but Hislop soon slipped backwards as he experienced severe pressure failure with the front brake of his MonsterMob Ducati. He wisely decided to retire, while Hodgson continued to dice for the lead before his rear tyre went off and he lost touch with leader Ben Bostrom, slipping to third behind world champion Colin Edwards.

But the race was stopped following a spectacular crash involving James Haydon and Robert Ulm on lap 11.

Restarted over 15 laps, Hodgson was able to fit a better choice of rubber and he went on to cross the line first (although still second to Bostrom on aggregate time over the two legs).

Race two saw factory Ducati pilot Bostrom and the GSE Racing Ducati mounted Hodgson again at it hammer and tong in the early stages, only this time Neil’s bike sprang a water leak and he was forced to slow with six laps to go. ‘I had thrown everything at the race, but once the bike started leaking water I had no choice but to back off,’ said a clearly disappointed Neil later, despite claiming his second runner-up position of the day.

Training partner and friend Hislop was even more down in the mouth as again he only got three laps in before the front forks started tearing the tyre up.

Courtesy of Isle of Man Newspapers

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