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Hodgson satisfied despite tyre mistake

Hodgson satisfied despite tyre mistake

Hodgson satisfied despite tyre mistake

Neil Hodgson said he was happy with his performance on the first day of qualifying for the Marlboro Grand Prix of Qatar after a mistake with a qualification tyre robbed him of the chance to challenge d'Antin Ducati team-mate Ruben Xaus for pole position.

Hodgson lapped alongside the Spaniard at the top of the time sheets for much of the session after swiftly getting to grips with the demands of the new Losail circuit but lost several positions in the late push for times and ended up in tenth place on the provisional grid.

"Everything has gone quite well," commented Hodgson. "I started off quite badly in the morning practice although the conditions have been just as tough for everybody.

"I didn't completely enjoy the track but in the afternoon it was completely different – I began to enjoy myself and up until the final couple of minutes I was confident of a good time because I was riding really well on race tyres.

"I made a mistake on the qualification tyre and stayed out for an extra lap instead of coming in to change. If it wasn't for that I think my lap time and position would have been much better but I am happy and convinced I can go faster tomorrow – I'd be satisfied with a top ten placing.

"It's tough for Rubén and myself to go to so many new circuits, which the other riders already know so well. This circuit is just as new for everybody and it's nice for us to look at the time sheets and see ourselves up there."


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