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Neil Hodgson: "My toughest weekend"

Neil Hodgson: 'My toughest weekend'

Neil Hodgson: "My toughest weekend"

Neil Hodgson admitted to suffering his "toughest weekend in a lot of years" at the Cinzano Rio Grand Prix, where he struggled to nineteenth on the starting grid and ended the race without a single point to show for his efforts.

The reigning World Superbike Champion crossed the line in sixteenth place after losing a race-long battle with British compatriot Jeremy McWilliams and American youngster John Hopkins, later revealing bitter disappointment at his performance.

"That was the toughest weekend I've had in a lot of years," commented Hodgson. "I can't remember struggling so much and not finding the light at the end of the tunnel. It was terrible… it was just a terrible race.

"I got a half decent start and then for ten laps it wasn't so bad but then… I don't know if I was dehydrated or what – I've had a lot of injections and tablets because I've got an injured shoulder - but I just totally lost concentration.

"I had really bad arm-pump in both arms and a lot of tension in my body and I just couldn't race. I tried to slow down to relax and get a second wind but I couldn't, it was just terrible."

Hodgson returned home to the Isle of Man on Monday and added that he was looking forward to a change of fortunes on more familiar territory in the next couple of races, firstly at Sachsenring in a fortnight's time and then his eagerly-anticipated home race at Donington Park.

"I'm just glad to get back home," he said. "We seemed to have taken some steps forward and I was starting to get on with the bike before Rio but everything we tried there just didn't work. I just have to forget the weekend and move on. In fact, I've forgotten it already.

"Now we're back in Europe and we've got to get back on track basically. I'm looking forward to Germany and I'm definitely looking forward to Donington. The sooner we can get going again the better."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004

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