David Shoubridge’s run of successive wins on the Rich Energy Ducati continued on Saturday after he notched up his fifth consecutive victory at Oulton Park.
The opening quarter of the Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup race took place behind the safety cars after an incident at Turn 1, with Phillip Atkinson (Q-Oil Treatments / Unique Motorsport) one of the riders out the action prematurely.
As the race got properly underway it was championship leader Shoubridge out at the front, ahead of Tom Tunstall (Motorcycle Race Parts) and Blaze Baker (Trackdemons Racing Powered by HMY).
Halfway through the twelve-lap race saw the trio of Shoubridge, Tunstall and Baker gapping the rest of the field, but as the race progressed, Baker dropped back as technical issues hampered his progress. Race leader Shoubridge came under mounting pressure from Tunstall who looked to be lining up a last corner pass for the win, but a defensive line from Shoubridge saw the Rich Energy Ducati rider take the chequered flag to further extend his championship lead over Tunstall.
Baker brought his Panigale V2 home to take the final podium position, half a second ahead of Max Lofthouse (JDF Racing).
Michael Tustin (AH Performance / Breckland Utility Solutions) finished fifth, with Mark Bridger (Moto46) completing the top six finishers.
Race 1 video:
David Shoubridge (Rich Energy Ducati) – 1st
“That was a tough race. I had to really dig in. I was determined to get the win. I really, really want to keep pushing and keep getting wins. Not thinking about the championship so much, or at least not when I’m on the bike. I broke my rib out in Bol d’Or, it’s been quote difficult to manoeuvre, it’s not so bad on the bike to be fair so not really an excuse for anything. I think that was a ‘40.4, which is roughly about as quick as I’ve gone round here anyway.
I think it would be quite nice to learn a bit from Tom actually, he was giving me +0 all the way through so I knew he was on my tail. I was kind of expecting a last-minute lunge into Lodge on the last lap so was riding a bit defensive, trying to be calm and if he passed me, I was just going to let him go and see where he was going a bit quicker.
Really enjoyed that race, I love it round here, it’s like a rollercoaster, although not so much with broken ribs! We’ll go again and every dog has its day so I’m sure Tom will have some answers for me tomorrow. Well done to everybody else. And to Blaze obviously, to come here and get on the podium when he’s not seen the place before. I’m over the moon and have extended the lead in the championship. Long may it continue!”
Tom Tunstall (Motorcycle Race Parts #21) – 2nd
“I’ve had good pace all weekend here. Snetterton and Cadwell where I’ve not raced for five years so it’s nice to come back to a track that I’ve got more familiarity with. New with the Ducati but still a track I know better. I knew I would have a good race today and I knew Dave and Blaze were going to be there. On the back of Dave there were quite a few areas where I felt pretty strong. I’m a little bit frustrated. I had a couple of goes and arguably could have been a bit harder and there were a few other areas that I could of kind of had a crack. I probably played it as fair as I could today but there’s certainly more to come. Lap times at mid 40s are good and I felt in control behind him, so we’ll have to see how tomorrow pans out. But I’m certainly looking forward to it, and it’ll certainly be a good race for sure.”
Blaze Baker (Track Demons Racing Powered by HMY #51) – 3rd
“Oulton. What can I say? It’s another rollercoaster, absolutely gorgeous. Wheelieing and fighting the front end all the way through it. I absolutely loved it. We had good pace all weekend. The race was really good, and we got off to a good start. A few errors came up on the dash and it just made my race a little bit tough, I lost my traction and quickshifter but it’s nothing we can’t get sorted out for tomorrow. I felt like I had the pace to be up there and even fight for the win, so I think once we get those issues solved for tomorrow, we’ll be up there fighting for the win.”
Starting from pole David Shoubridge once again took victory at Oulton Park on Sunday, although the Rich Energy Ducati rider was pushed all the way by Baker.
Shoubridge, Baker and Tunstall looked strong out at front from the start of the race. On Lap 3 Baker took the lead at Island Bend but Shoubridge retook the position on the same lap with a great move around the outside of the South African rider around Hislops.
By half race distance the trio had built up a gap of five seconds over the chasing pack of Tustin, Lofthouse and Bridger.
As the leading trio started their final lap their lead out at front had doubled to ten seconds. Baker was still pushing Shouey and although a last lap, last corner pass, was on the cards Shoubridge held on to his position take the double and his eleventh win of the season.
Baker and Tunstall finished second and third, just 0.2 and 0.8 seconds behind Shoubridge respectively. Lofthouse crossed the line a further 13 seconds behind the race winner, beating Tustin to fourth, with Bridger once again completing the top six finishers.
The championship can now only be won by Shoubridge or Tunstall, at the very last Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup round at Brands Hatch next month (14-16 October). There are a maximum of 50 points available but thanks to his double victory this weekend Shoubridge will be heading to his home round with a large 37-point advantage.
David Shoubridge (Rich Energy Ducati) – 1st
“What a race! It’s nice to get a race. And I don’t mean that arrogantly, obviously. At certain rounds I’ve had better data and just kind of experience in the class I would say, to be fair to the other two guys. It’s nothing to do with talent on the bike, I think. In this class it gives you a bit of a leg up if you have some base data to work from, to start with. If you’re chasing that all weekend, I find it puts you on the back foot. To be fair to the other guys it was a real good strong race this weekend. It’s not my strongest circuit, it’s the circuit I’ve come to the least. But really, really enjoyed racing. Chuffed to bits to come away with two wins. Now we’ve got one hand on the championship trophy and we’re going to be turning up at our home round and looking to wrap it up. We just need 13 points to go and then we’ve got it. That will be a dream come true for me. So, thank you very much, thanks to Rich Energy, thanks to XPEL, all the smaller sponsors that help me along the way and we’ll see everyone at Brands.”
Blaze Baker (Track Demons Racing Powered by HMY #51) – 2nd
“I’m tyring! Shouey’s got pace. It was really good out there today dicing with him. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do down at Brands. It’s his home track, my favourite circuit. It’s going to be a good scrap and Tunstall’s also going to be in the mix. Let’s end the season of with a bang. A huge thank you to the team, Track Demons Racing, The ATV Centre, Drizit Environmental, and all the guys who helped me get here. Final push now onto Brands.”
Tom Tunstall (Motorcycle Race Parts #21) – 3rd
“It’s been a strong weekend. Today’s race didn’t play our way. I would have preferred a longer race to get a rhythm, But the pace was strong, I think I set the fastest lap with a couple of laps to go, just hanging on the back of them. It was a close race, and with the guys dicing it’s hard not to get too involved. Disappointed because we had strong pace all weekend but when you’re disappointed finishing second and third, fastest laps, and less than a second from the win it’s not too bad! One more play out at Brands, so looking forward to that and making the most of it.”
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