- Collier wraps up the Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup championship in Race 1
- Collier wins Race 2 to claim the double
- Mark Cheetham, Michael Tustin and Josh Wainwright all claim their first podium finishes of the season
The opening Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup race was initially red-flagged after rain starting to fall on lap 3. Mark Cheetham (Highsparks Motorsport) had initially lined up pole but the quick 5-lap restart took positions from 2nd lap positions. This promoted Joe Collier (Boast Plumbing) to pole for the restart, with Sean Neary (Zoek Racing Team) and Phil Atkinson (Highsparks Motorsport) locking out the front row with Cheetham starting from 4th.
Collier made a great start and didn’t relinquish his lead once at the front. Lapping almost 5 seconds faster than his rivals as he built up a dominant 24 second win on his way to his 10th victory of the season, wrapping up his 2017 Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup championship with 3 races remaining in the process to the delight of his Boast Plumbing team.
Cheetham managed to hold onto 2nd throughout the entire race, crossing the chequered flag with an empty fuel tank only 0.022s ahead of Michael Tustin (TeamMTR), who claimed the final podium position just ahead of Jonathan Railton (Boast Plumbing). Cheetham’s and Tustin’s finishes are their best of the season to date, with Tustin’s made all the more impressive considering his 22nd starting position.
Collier got off the line from pole well but it was Neary who led the field as the riders entered Stowe for the first time. Neary led for the opening couple of laps until Collier got back out in front.
The leading group of 5 riders of Collier, Neary, Levi Day (Boast Plumbing), Railton and Josh Wainwright (Ducati Romford / Hyside Motorcycles) had soon gapped the field opening a 7 second advantage. But as the laps mounted up, Collier and Neary broke free to build up similar time gap of their own as they challenged for the race win.
Neary kept Collier honest for the entire race. Ultimately, he was unable to take the position and had to settle for second place as Collier crossed the chequered flag to claim his second win of his championship-winning weekend.
Meanwhile, the battle behind them for 3rd came down to a last lap thriller with all to play for between Day, Railton and Wainwright. Wainright managed to pass Railton for 4th before challenging Day. With backmarkers coming into play, it was Wainright who won the fight to finish just in front of the Boast Plumbing teammates as he claimed 3rd – in only his 2nd race onboard Rob Guiver’s 959 Panigale.
Collier now leads the championship with 291.5 points. Rob Guiver (Ducati Romford / Hyside Motorcycles, missing due to injury, still remains in 2nd place with 169 points despite not having taken part in the last 5 races. But that position is now closely challenged by Railton (165.5 points), Neary (161 points), Atkinson (160 points) and Day (155.5 points).
Joe Collier (Boast plumbing #4) – Race 1, 1st – Race 2, 1st
“Perfect end to the weekend. It was really good yesterday sealing the championship up. Just a magic season. Really good fun. Just get me head down now and start talking to a few people and see what next year brings.”
Mark Cheetham (Highsparks Motorsport #21) – Race 1, 2nd
“First podium for a long, long time. I’ve had a couple of pole positions but it’s always been in the wet. And then when it was a dry race today I thought I’m just too old, I’m not fit enough! But the rain came and I thought nice one, But, as we went out again it was just dry as a bone. I should’ve left at least just a dry in the rear but you just don’t know until you get out there. It was just a tyre shredding, sliding, losing the front, losing the rear, just out of line. I had quite a good lead for a while and I thought just keep it smooth but I kept looking and I could see him coming. And then it ran out of petrol coming on to the start/finish straight then and I was, ah no… just trying to shake the bit in. Good times”
Michael Tustin (TeamMTR) – Race 1, 3rd
“I am very happy, over the moon, I can’t believe I am stood here to be honest, I never thought I would make it this far considering where I started on the grid. But we gambled on a rear dry and it paid off, probably full dry tyres would have worked for the whole race. To get that podium, I am speechless. To be honest it is something I have been working towards for 3-5 years now. Even to be in this paddock is something I have always wanted to do, so I am extremely proud of myself and proud of the team as well.”
Sean Neary (Zoek Racing Team #10) – Race 2, 2nd
“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated yesterday, we had good pace in the dry and then that rain kind of messed it up. Today I had a game plan just to give Joe a run for his money. The way I ride relies on corner speed and as soon as I lost that edge grip I just couldn’t stay with him. I was already at 100% and then you start thinking of the championship. I had a dreadful start to it [the championship] but I have started to come back into it. So, do I risk throwing it down the road or do I get the points? Maybe I am getting old but I didn’t have the pace to stay with him, but overall I am happy enough with it and go to Assen which is one of my favourite tracks and see if we can get a win.”
Josh Wainwirght (Ducati Romford / Hyside Racing #26) – Race 2, 3rd
“I’m just so happy to be back up here. Very grateful to be given the opportunity to show my face in the paddock again. Got my arse of the couch and here we are spraying champagne at each other. It’s lovely!