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Xaus seals Rookie of the Year title

Xaus seals Rookie of the Year title

Xaus seals Rookie of the Year title

Rubén Xaus enjoyed another points-scoring finish at the Cinzano Australian Grand Prix on Sunday but a modest eleventh place held extra significance for the Spanish rider. Xaus is now officially the 2004 MotoGP Rookie of the Year, having boosted his tally to 77 points and leaving himself out of reach of closest chaser Alex Hofmann.

"I wasn't at all happy with the race because I had to save myself from a very difficult situation when I was riding in the group and had to try not to knock anyone off, and I lost a bit of ground doing so," commented Xaus on Sunday evening.

"I fought back a bit, but the bike was very aggressive and there was an area in which I was losing around a second. It's a shame because I think that I could have finished the race in a better position. I was really keen to try and get amongst the top five.

"The positive thing is that now I am tenth in the championship and I would love to finish in this position, but whatever happens I think I have shown that I deserve my place here for the next few years."

Team Manager Luis d'Antin expressed his satisfaction at Xaus' achievement in what has been a difficult season for the whole squad. "We are happy, because Rubén has taken the Rookie of the Year title and I think he has deserved it," said d'Antin.

"Furthermore, he has moved up to tenth in the overall classification and I hope that he can defend that spot in Valencia. I also think we can move up a spot in the team's championship and I'm sure we could so it if we get our riders in the right kind of shape there."


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