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Not to Rain on Neils parade but this victory is in a year where he is on the only factory team. It would be a surprise if he did not win the championship in the Ducati cup.



Also the fact that all the lap records still stand from last year show the decline of the so called world super bike. And now with rumors of Neil going to GP, Xaus going to AMA, and the GSE team uncertain of which series they will run. The WSC will be a lame duck.



Good bye to a once great series.
 

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It's interesting to me that Hodgson was able to nearly equal Lavillia's pole position qual time in race two.



It's also interesting that Loris Capirossi was nearly 3 seconds faster than Lavillia, pole for pole this year at Assen. That's a bigger gap between SBK and MotoGP than I would have imagined at a track like Assen.
 

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Lavilla wasn't on pole at Assen.



Pier Francesco Chili and Neil Hodgson both broke the existing SBK qualifying lap record. Chili's pole time of 2’00.874 was one second slower than Capirossi’s pole in this year’s MotoGP race. Chili's set that time on a two year old, semi-privateer Ducati 998.
 

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Doh! I was looking at the provisional #'s. Puts things in a different light, 1 second as opposed to ~3.



Chili would have qualified 11th on the MotoGP grid on his old 998, ahead of Ukawa, Hayden, Bayliss, et at. Purty spiffy.
 

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Suprise a Ducati wins the the Ducati cup

Agree completely. The previous two years were great seeing Colin Edwards and Bayliss duke it out. But now who cares.
 

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Agreed... Too bad, because for the last several years SBK has been more exciting than GP, AND regardless of what the pundits tell you, if you look at motocross, it's production based racing that puts new technology on the showroom floor in the quickest, most direct way.



Even for a big Ducati fan like myself, watching a grid full of Ducs isn't that much fun. If it wasn't for the Lavilla vs. Xaus battles, it almost wouldn't be worth watching.



The funny thing is, SBK has become the 'Ducati Cup' (and soon to be the the Ducati/Pirelli cup) more by just sheer lack of participation than anything else. Haga-san had a great year on a Yamaha right before they bailed out, 'Booger' (Edwards) won the championship and then Honda quit, and both Corser and Haga made the Aprillia look promising. Now they're all over in MotoGP, which if it wasn't for Ducati, would basically be the Honda cup.



Who knows, next year could be a Chili/Corser flashback to the late `90s :)



--Fillmore
 
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