Mark Cheetham dominated this afternoon’s Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup scrap as he cruised to a comfortable victory ahead of a crash-ridden field.
With little in the way of a dry line for the first race on track today, it looked to be a battle of attrition as the one-make racers fought to stay upright on the drenched circuit.
Highsparks Motorsport’s Lewis Rollo immediately stormed into the lead from pole as yesterday’s winner Levi Day dropped back, and by the end of the first lap the Scotsman already had a 1.263s lead over Cheetham and Dijon Compton.
But series veteran Cheetham, who has raced with the Ducati Cup since its inception, used his experience to reel Rollo in just two laps later.
The fellow Highsparks man made a move for the lead at Coppice, and although he couldn’t make it stick, he tried again at Goddard’s and finally pushed Rollo back to second.
Cheetham immediately began stretching a gap, while Compton crashed out of third at the Melbourne Hairpin and left last year’s championship runner-up Phil Atkinson to the final podium position.
Although Rollo looked to be catching Cheetham, the teenager lost the front braking for the Fogarty Esses and ditched any hopes of a rostrum finish.
With over 11 seconds to spare, Cheetham eased to victory ahead of Atkinson to make it a Highsparks 1-2, with Boast Plumbing’s Josh Wainwright in third.