• Mark Cheetham wins his first Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup race
  • Phil Atkinson secures runner up spot after Sean Neary crashes out
  • 2017 Champion Joe Collier claims the final race win
  • Championship debutant Levi Day misses out on first win finishing third overall
Race 1
Joe Collier Wraps up the TriOptions Cup Championship in Style 1Mark Cheetham (Highsparks Motorsport) claimed a decisive first victory in wet conditions in the opening Ducati Cup race at Assen. Starting 8th on the grid, Cheetham made a fantastic start passing Levi Day to take the lead on the opening lap.
By the end of his 2nd lap Cheetham had already built up an impressive 4 second lead, which he went on to double before crossing the chequered flag. Cheetham’s teammate Phil Atkinson brought his 959 Panigale home in 2nd place, with Sean Neary (Zoek Racing Team) claiming the final podium.
The Highsparks Motorsport team had further reason to celebrate with their rider Jordan Gill finishing as the top 899 rider in 7th place.
Mark Cheetham (Highsparks Motorsport #21) – 1st
“Really happy, this is what I’ve dreamed of, getting a 1st in the Ducati TriOptions and it’s happened.”
Race 2
Joe Collier claims a dominant 12th win during the final race of the 2017 Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup.
Starting from 8th on the grid, the Boast Plumbing rider was soon in action at the front of the race, passing Highsparks Motorsport’s Mark Cheetham and Phil Atkinson to take 2nd place behind race leader Josh Wainwright (Ducati Romford / Hyside Racing).
Meanwhile there was drama on the opening lap as Neary, who was battling for 2nd in the championship, crashed out of a front-running position ending his season prematurely.
On the 2nd lap Collier took the lead from Wainright. Levi Day (Boast Plumbing) was then on a charge moving up to 2nd and posting the fastest lap of the race on Lap 4 with 1:42.640. He kept Collier honest for several laps but ultimately Collier was able to bridge a gap and went on take another dominant win, his 12th of the season.
Day crossed the chequered flag in 2nd, while Wainwright just got the better of Atkinson, to finish 0.045s ahead of the South African to claim the final podium spot.
Taryn Skinner (Highsparks Motorsport) put yesterday’s DNF behind him to finish 9th as the top 899 rider, both in the race and the championship.
Joe Collier (Boast Plumbing #4) – 1st (2017 Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup champion)
“Glad to finish it with a win. That’s exactly how you want to finish the year. The whole year’s just been fantastic. The team’s been really, really good. Just couldn’t have wished for a better year really.”
Levi Day (Boast Plumbing #57) – 2nd (2017 Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup 3rd)
“I really would have liked to have had that race win this season, I think we were close but after Neary had that unfortunate crash on the first lap I just wanted to bring it home and do the best I could. I could just about stay on the back of Joe (Collier) but I made a few mistakes and then I just tried to keep my cool and bring home second. We had some decent podiums and we will be back for some more next year.”
Josh Wainwright (Ducati Romford / Hyside Racing #26) – 3rd
“Shame we had a crash yesterday in the race because that would’ve given me a bit more confidence to go from the start. And the start I got yesterday dropped me from pole to all the way out of the top 10 so I knew I had to just get away with them. I was surprised I got a really good start, took the lead. The setup on the bike just felt a little bit too soft but manageable to stay with the pack. And I just tried to conserve myself knowing that these two boys at the front, Levi and Joe, were just in another league today. So, well done to them. I’m over the moon for the team. To get the bike rebuilt from last night to get out on track, just happy days.”
Phil Atkinson (Highsparks Motorsport #7) – 4th (2017 Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup 2nd)
“We recovered well. Gutted to have lost the podium, it would’ve been nice, but at the end of the day the championship is more important. Big thanks to Highsparks Motorsport, Shane Crazier from Highsparks, he really believed in me even when I was injured, and stuck by me. I’d like to stay with them again and hopefully try to win this thing.”
Taryn Skinner (Highsparks Motorsport) – 9th (Top 899 Championship finisher)
“It was a really hard ride actually because I had no gear lever peg left. So it was difficult but a good end of season though.”
Top 10 Championship finishers
1.            Joe Collier (Boast Plumbing) 329.5 points
2.            Phil Atkinson (Highsparks Motorsport) 193 points
3.            Levi Day (Boast Plumbing) 185.5 points
4.            Jonathan Railton (Boast Plumbing) 182.5 points
5.            Sean Neary (Zoek Racing Team) 177 points
6.            Rob Guiver (Ducati Romford / Hyside Racing)169 points
7.            Mark Cheetham (Highsparks Motorsport) 151points
8.            David Ferns (Team DFR) 119.5 points
9.            Sam Middlemas (Salus / Albany) 101 points
10.          Taryn Skinner* (Highsparks Motorsport) 68.5 points
*Top 899 rider