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Britain's Neil Hodgson ended his AMA Superbike season in the season sixth after taking fifth in the final race of the 2008 Championship at Laguna Seca.

Hodgson started the 28-lap final, held on the same 2.238-mile road course that hosts the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, in a five-rider pack contesting second. But as the race went on, Hodgson and team-mate Miguel DuHamel gradually fell off the leaders and into a fight of their own.

In their own personal battle, Hodgson was in front from the start with DuHamel pressing from behind. The pair of Honda CBR1000RR-mounted teammates ran in tandem until there were six laps to run when Duhamel felt a slight hesitation, which he thought might be a fuel issue. It wasn't, but it put him off the back of Hodgson, who went on to finish a  disappointed fifth.


But Duhamel's excitement wasn't over. With three laps to go he overshot the famed Corkscrew, running through the sand and down the hill. After gathering himself up without losing a spot, he was soon under attack by Eric Bostrom (Yamaha). Bostrom made his move with a better drive onto the front straight, relegating Duhamel to seventh.

"Obviously, I were going as hard as I could. It's hard to ride a race as hard of that, and I sort of enjoyed the race, but finished fifth,  which I wasn't satisfied with," said Hodgson.

"And I didn't know Miguel (Duhamel) was behind me. On the last lap, when I nearly hit Johnny Rock Page, I lost three seconds in one lap and I just thought, I just thought to myself, 'Neil, you are a fool.' Because I'd done all the work to ride around, I could ride around my last two laps. And I started my last lap assuming whoever was behind me was on my wheel. I don't know if he was or not. But I ended up ten seconds in front of them."

The race, the final one in the current AMA Superbike Championship format, was won by Suzuki rider Mat Mladin.

The 2009 AMA Superbike Championship will have a different look, with the class structure as yet decided. An announcement of the classes and technical rules is expected in the week following the season finale.

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