Ruben Xaus moved out of team-mate Neil Hodgson’s shadow this season to win both races in the San Marino round of the World Superbike championship on Sunday.

Ruben Xaus moved out of team-mate Neil Hodgson’s shadow this season to win both races in the San Marino round of the World Superbike championship on Sunday.

It was the Spaniard’s third and fourth wins of his career. Hodgson crashed out of race one and finished second in race two. James Toseland and Regis Laconi finished second and third respectively in race one. Pierfrancesco Chili was third in race two.

With five rounds and 10 races to go, Xaus has moved into second place in the title race on 208 points, still 107 behind Hodgson. The Brit won 11 of the 12 races before the San Marino round.

“Everyone knows how difficult it is to start from row three here at Misano,” said Xaus. “Neil tried to push the pace too early and crashed. After that I knew I could win and gave everything until the end. I knew I had the quickest bike from the Carro curve to the Tramonto so I was sure I could win. I enjoyed the two races today and finally I felt that the 999 was ‘mine’ after all the work done by my mechanics this weekend,” he added.

“I didn’t have any problems on race-day, just in practice and Superpole. In race 2 I easily passed Chili and as I knew Neil would have braked on the inside of Tramonto, I just went around him on the outside.”

Hodgson crashed on the second lap of the first race at the Carro curve. “It was a strange crash, I wasn’t doing anything different to what I normally do at the Carro, I just lost the front and went down,” said Hodgson. “I feel frustrated not to have won, but I know I gave my best out there. Finishing second only motivates me to train harder and go faster. I knew Ruben was really fast round the back part, I thought I’d covered the line but I hit the brakes too early and he came round me on the outside.”

The next round is at Laguna Seca in California on July 13.