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Another new circuit for the d'Antin riders

Another new circuit for the d'Antin riders

Another new circuit for the d'Antin riders

Rubén Xaus and Neil Hodgson head to Japan this weekend ready for another new adventure in a groundbreaking first season alongside the elite of the MotoGP world Championship.

Whilst Hodgson had previously competed in the 500cc series back in the mid-90s, a lot of the circuits this season have been new to him, including this weekend's venue for the Camel Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi.

After a mechanical breakdown in the last round at Estoril, Hodgson has spent time resting at his home on the Isle of Man before the long trip to Japan.

"It was a real shame not to finish the race in Portugal but now we have to think about Japan and I'm looking forward to going to Motegi," says Hodgson. "I've never been there before and it's always difficult to start off without any references, but the only way forward is to work hard from the start.

"I'm confident that things will go well and we'll get back on the positive run we had going at Donington and Brno. My main goal is to finish the race, preferably in the top twelve".

Hodgson's d´Antin Ducati team-mate Ruben Xaus also suffered from mechanical problems in Portugal but the impressive rookie showed signs that he can be competitive when luck is on his side.

"I left Estoril with the usual bad taste in my mouth which you get from not finishing a race but I showed I can be up there fighting in the second group, but I just need time and experience because it's always difficult at a new circuit," said Xaus.

"Next weekend we'll be in Motegi and I'll be back at another new circuit because the only place I've raced over there is at Sugo. I'm starting from scratch again but the track doesn't seem too complicated and I hope we don't have any setbacks so that we can make the most of every session and build up to a good race."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, CAMEL GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN

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