- Guiver extends championship lead with a 4th and 1st
- Morris returns to form with first win of the season and 2nd place
- Debut podium for Ducati Wolverhampton rider Louis Dawson
Rob Guiver extended his championship lead at round three of the Ducati TriOptions Cup at Donington Park with a hard fought race two win and a fourth in race one.
The Ducati TriOptions Cup was again supporting the UK round the World Superbike Championship entertaining the sun-baked crowds with closer racing from one of the biggest grids on the weekend’s schedule.
Leon Morris began the race weekend in dominant form, starting from pole and leading from start to finish in race one. The Carl Cox Motorsport/P&H Motorcycles rider made the most of the battle ensuing behind him as Phil Atkinson (Highsparks Motorsport) and Sean Neary (Zoek Racing Team) had a pulsating duel behind him.
By lap six Morris had managed to pull a gap of a second over Atkinson who eventually conceded his second position to Neary after some close racing that made for an exciting end to the race. Morris eventually crossed the finish line two seconds ahead of his rivals.
Rob Guiver (Hyside Motorcycles) finished just off the podium in fourthth while it was a disappointing return to Donington Park for current Champion Robbie Brown (Boast Plumbing). Brown had dominated last year’s Donington round with a triple win which was to prove to be the catalyst for his eventual title win but today he had to settle for a subdued 5th place.
Leon Morris – Carl Cox Motorsport/P&H Motorcycles
“I have to say the pace of the championship yet again this year has been so hot that I didn’t expect anyone to be able to run away with the races this year. Rob Guiver did it last weekend at Brands but for whatever reason, we’ve come here and everything has hooked up really well and we’ve just seemed to be able to do the times really confidently. So after yesterday’s qualifying we knew that we might have had the speed on the rest because my qualifying lap was a bit hampered as well but we still ended up half a second quicker than anyone else. It’s a long wait from yesterday but nice to be able to put it all into play today and come away with my first race win of the year. Absolutely wicked.”
Sean Neary – Zoek Racing Team
“I messed up the start to be honest so made it hard for myself moving back to fourth or fifth. By the time I got in to my rhythm I was happy with my lap times but by then Leon had got possibly a second and a half lead and you’re never going to get that back with a few laps to go. But me and Phil had a good old scrap anyway though and I enjoyed that”
Phil Atkinson – Highsparks Motorsport
“Sean was strong today and the battling in the first two laps probably messed it up for us to stay with Leon – but he was special here today. We made some changes which worked better today and if we can get away and stay with him (Leon) tomorrow maybe we can do something in tomorrow’s race. We had a few brake issues in the last couple of laps so we will need to have a look at that and if we can sort that we should be stronger. A big thanks to Highsparks and we look forward to tomorrow.”
Sean Neary (Zoek Racing team) lined up on pole after setting the fastest time in race one and led in the early stages from race one winner Leon Morris. However Rob Guiver was soon back in the thick of it setting a fastest time on lap 3 as he passed Phil Atkinson to claim third. Leon Morris survived almost crashing on Lap 4 and dropped back to 5th allowing Atkinson to reclaim 3rd who then took 2nd spot from Guiver on the following lap with the chase now on for Neary.
At the front Neary and Atkinson swapped places several times and onn the sixth lap Atkinson crossed the line first after getting a good drive out of Goddards onto the Wheatcroft Straight. But neither rider would complete Lap seven as disaster struck when they both came into contact and went down at Goddards on the next lap.
This incident gifted Guiver the lead but he was suffering with braking problems at a circuit that Ducati Cup Ambassador Niall Mackenzie describes as “one of the hardest braking circuits on the world”. But despite a broken brake adjuster Guiver cemented his winning position, extending the gap to his rivals by an additional second per lap until he saw the chequered flag. Morris had recovered from his earlier scare to finish 2nd whilst Louis Dawson (Ducati Wolverhampton) took third, his first podium finish in a Ducati TriOptions race.
Rob Guiver – Hyside Motorcycles
“It was a crazy race. We made a lot of changes after suffering from brake problems all weekend and made loads of changes with the bike. It was a lot better in that race. I was really strong at the start, bided my time and waited to come through. By Redgate the first turn the brakes just locked up again. I’ve got a brake adjuster so adjusted them out but then the brake adjuster snapped. I was literally had no brakes at all as the lever came right back into the bar. I was just holding on for dear life. I saw I had quite a gap behind me and I thought 3rdwould do if I could bring this home but then the two leaders went down [Atkinson and Neary] and I thought all my Christmases had come at once. It was one of the best races I’ve ever won as it was so tough, well pleased.”
Leon Morris – Carl Cox Motorsport/P&H Motorcycles
“Not quite the way I wanted it. At one point it looked like we’d score no points, it was the closest I’d come to crashing and then not actually crash. Obviously we inherited a few points with the leaders going down and not that that’s the way you want to do it but such is life. To come out with a 2nd place after what looked like I could be on my arse is absolutely brilliant for us, a really good weekend.”
Louis Dawson – Ducati Wolverhampton
“It feels mega. I just hope I can keep going and build up from that and maybe get a 2nd and a 1st. We got a bit lucky but all weekend we’ve been showing our potential and I like the track here. Hopefully more people are taking notice of me as I want get up there.”