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Britain's Neil Hodgson began the  second half of the AMA Superbike season with a difficult race in the combined AMA/MotoGP weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Hodgson
finished seventh in the Superbike race held just
after the 11th round of the MotoGP World Championship.

Running with the MotoGP class gives added exposure, but at a cost.
Rather than the usual allocation of practice and qualifying, the AMA
Superbikes were limited to two half hour practice sessions prior to
Sunday morning qualifying. With cool, foggy weather in the mornings,
and warm afternoons, it made finding a  race set-up difficult.

On the third of 28 laps, Hodgson ran afoul of a front end issue and wasn't sure if it was a bad front tyre or front suspension
problem. Either way, the front end  of his CBR1000RR was chattering
all over the track. There was little he could do except hang on for
the next 25 laps.


Finishing seventh cost Hodgson third in the championship, which he'd
held until now, though he need only wait two weeks for the chance to
gain back the position when the series resumes at the Mid-Ohio Sports
Car Course.

Today's race was won by Mat Mladin (Suzuki) from teammate Ben Spies.
Aaron Yates (Suzuki) finished third.

Neil Hodgson
It was either a faulty front tire or something went majorly  wrong
with the front forks. It just felt different  from the minute I was
on the track. It was chattering it's brains out and I'd had no
chatter all weekend. It was  just a disaster. From lap three on I
thought, oh no, this isn't good. It was hopping across the
track.  It's the first time we got it majorly wrong. Just a shame it
happened in front of the GP crowd. There was nothing I could do. I
just had to deal with what I had. Afterwards, the team looked at the
data and they couldn't believe I kept on riding. I  had to ride
really sort of safe. I had to use different lines, I had to turn in
early. It was hopping across the track. It was weird, it was really,
really weird. It had to be the tire because we didn't change anything
in the forks. I haven't had a bad tire all year.

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