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Britain's Neil Hodgson maintained third place at the halfway point in the in the AMA Superbike Championship with a pair of fourth place finishes in difficult weather conditions at Road America in the American heartland of Wisconsin.

Severe weather plagued the area on the weekend, with a tornado sighting south of the track. Thunderstorms came and went and Saturday's races were delayed by rain and lightning.

Sunday's practice was run in a steady rain. The overall affect was a lack of dry set-up time and a green track after the downpours.


Hodgson was away behind the leaders in both races, which were held under warm, overcast skies on a track with several sixth gear straights.

On Saturday, he lost touch with the leaders early and raced by himself to fourth. Sunday he turned off his traction control in a bid to have more control on corner exit.

The 2003 World Superbike Champion was closer in the early stages, but any chance at repeating his podium performance from the previous week at Miller
Motorsports Park ended when he lost the draft of the lead trio. Again he found himself alone en route to another fourth.

"I sit here now and think, 'I should have pushed harder on them first laps to get the proper tow,' but then I could have been sat in the gravel hating life," he said. "Tough weekend really. I'm not happy with two fourths at  all. But I've got to step up my riding, I think, and try to improve my settings."

Saturday's race was won by Ben Spies (Suzuki) from teammate Mat Mladin. Mladin reversed the order on Sunday. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki) was third on both days.

Hodgson said: "When you come to a track like this, and you get your one 40 minute practice session all weekend, because obviously we don't get a lot of practice anyway, and the weather's been iffy, it's difficult.

"New bike, all new traction control system, all new everything, it's hard.
That's a lot of it. We made some real small changes on Sunday. I rode without any TC (traction control), because I just felt I was being held up too much.

"It's such a fine line between getting it right and not. It probably was a little bit better, which shows how bad it was for the first race, because I was just killing power out of the corners. Certain corners it didn't do too badly.

"Anywhere it spun, obviously, it killed power and that was that.  It's so frustrating. I had him (Jamie Hacking) in sight. Jamie managed to get the tow of the leaders and I just sort of missed it. Obviously, it's trickyconditions, the track's pretty green and both of our rear tires were sliding."

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