Hodgson fall benefits Xaus

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Neil Hodgson, the World Superbike leader, crashed out in race one as Ruben Xaus enjoyed a double success in the seventh round of the championship in San Marino yesterday.

The Spaniard for once took centre stage from Hodgson, his Ducati Fila team-mate, by winning both races to cut the Briton's lead in the riders' championship to 107 points.

Hodgson finished second in race two after falling off his bike in the second lap of race one. Hodgson's mishap was capitalised upon by the HM Plant Ducati rider James Toseland - the only man before Xaus yesterday to beat him this season.

The Sheffield rider led from lap five but Xaus powered past in the eighth lap and crossed the line in 40min 22.423sec, taking him above Toseland into second place in the championship in the process. Regis Laconi, of France, was third on his Ducati 998 RS.