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Name: Neil Hodgson
Date of Birth: 20 Nov 1973
Nationality: UK

Better known these days for his success in British Superbikes and more recently the World Superbikes victory aboard a Ducati, Neil Hodgson did spend one season racing for the Kawasaki factory team in 1998.

He started Motocross when he was nine years old, started Road Racing when sixteen and has raced every year since. He won the British 125cc Championship at eighteen and went on to race in the World champs. In 94 he was offered a 500 ride for Team WCM who are now Team Red Bull Factory Yamaha.

He then returned to Superbike racing with Ducati partnering John Kosinski and rode for them for two years before moving to Kawasaki in 98 to replace Simon Crafar and joining Akira Yanagawa and Piergiorgio Bontempi in the factory team.

Despite the 'vision' of Kawasaki's racign director, and a number of technical improvments to the machine, the ZX7R wasnt overly competative by this stage and all riders were having trouble managing the bike and its tendency to wheel-spin. Hodgson signed a one-year contract beleiving the machines would be uprated or replaced to become more so.

His best result on the Kawasaki was fourth at Monza, he finished eleventh in the final table and also qualified third and finished seventh in the Suzuka 8 Hours, with Hitoyasu Izutsu.

The ZX7R improvments didnt happen so Hodgson went back to the British Championship riding a Ducati for GSE Racing in 1999 receving a couple of wildcard entries that year into World Superbikes.

He went on to be British Superbikes champion in 2000 with GSE Racing, and competed with Ducati Fila in the World Superbikes winning the championship in 2003.

For 2004 Hodgson is back in the Moto GP riding a 2003 season Ducati machine for the D'Antin Moto GP team.


See Also: K Index | ZX 7 Rider Index


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