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Sweet and sour eighth place for Hodgson

Sweet and sour eighth place for Hodgson

Sweet and sour eighth place for Hodgson

Neil Hodgson expressed his satisfaction at his best result of the season at Motegi on Sunday but admitted his joy was tempered slightly that eighth place came by process of elimination. With six frontrunners taken out in the first corner a major opportunity to pick up points presented itself further down the field – a place Hodgson does not believe he should be.

"I'm fairly pleased – I'd rather be beating everybody but racing is racing and people crash," commented Hodgson. "I've crashed myself many times so I'll take the result however I can get it really.

"It was a very difficult race. I got away well and saw the crash on the first lap and was a little shocked because I crashed in the warm-up and I didn't want to go into the gravel again. The first five laps were tough because the bike felt heavy and I wasn't efficient enough on the brakes, but it got better as I picked up the rhythm, although the race became boring after I passed Rubén (Xaus).

"It was my first time here and the conditions were very hot and humid, so I'm pleased I came through it. Motegi is a circuit where it is very easy to make mistakes, you've got to be very accurate with your braking. The first corner was always going to be tight so I'm glad I avoided it and I can take some positives to Qatar.

"I was riding all alone and it was hard to maintain my concentration. Eighth is a good result and I've picked up some good points and more experience. Slowly but surely I'm getting the hang of the bike but I still need to improve."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, CAMEL GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN

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