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Mission accomplished for Xaus

Mission accomplished for Xaus

Mission accomplished for Xaus

Ruben Xaus expressed his satisfaction at a top ten finish in the Camel Grand Prix of Japan, a race he expected to struggle in. On his first visit to the Motegi circuit and in the face of factory opposition from seven Hondas, four Yamahas and two Ducatis, the d'Antin Ducati rider was just relieved to make it to the end of the race after narrowly avoiding a six-rider crash in the first corner.

"We knew it was going to be a tough one and that's how it turned out to be," said Xaus, who crossed the line in ninth. "I got a bad start and possibly I missed the big crash because of that, because I got into the bend late and I could see the people flying.

"Luckily I didn't get involved and on the first laps it was hard for me because I had a completely different set-up. I couldn't find my rhythm and I couldn't hold off those who were trying to get past me because I didn't want to make any mistakes.

"Lots of people crashed but I was calm because the important thing is to pick up points for me and the team. I finished in the top ten at the end and I'm still learning that that's the most important thing."

With Neil Hodgson also clinching a solid points finish in eighth place it proved to be a positive weekend for team boss Luis d'Antin. "I think we've got a good result for both the riders and the team and that means we've collected some valuable points," said the former 500cc racer.

"The race was hard and notable for many reasons, but we exceeded our expectations at an event where we knew it was going to mean a lot of hard work, because neither Neil or Rubén had ridden here before in Motegi.

"Now we go to Qatar, and that's important for us because we could say that it's like our fifth home Grand Prix," added d'Antin, in reference to the sponsorship provided to the team by the Losail International Circuit.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, CAMEL GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN

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