In an opening race weekend that was overshadowed by the death of competitor Mick Whalley, Joe Collier bagged two wins in the Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup with Jonathan Railton taking runner-up spot in the points table.
Saturday’s race one ended prematurely with the by the accident meaning Collier of Boast Plumbing took a debut win, Rob Guiver was second and Jonathan Railton secured the final podium place. All were awarded half points due to the incomplete race.
So for the second outing after a minute’s silence in Mr Whalley’s memory, Collier lined up on pole sharing a front row with Phil Atkinson and Guiver. Railton, Taryn Skinner and Louis Dawson made up row two. One of the pre-season favourites Sean Neary had crashed out early in race and made do with a fourth-row start.
Railton got the holeshot before being passed by Boast Plumbing teammate Collier but it was Atkinson who was the race leader as the riders completed their first lap. Collier then dropped down the pack before Railton made a move on Atkinson on lap two to retake the lead into Coppice Corner.
Railton led for several laps but Neary and Collier were making their way through until they were swapping places right at the front. Neary was leading on the last lap and looking to make up for his early exit yesterday but ran wide allowing Collier to pass and take a double race victory and lead the championship.
Neary ended in second and Railton took the last podium position. However, Neary was disqualified after a post-race technical inspection which promoted Railton to second and Guiver bagged the final podium position.
The Boast Plumbing victories and double podium gave Moto Rapido the first Ducati dealer award of the year.
“First of all I would like to send my regards to the family and friends of Mick. The weekend has had many ups and downs but as a whole it’s been a really good frirst weekend out on the bike. We have learnt a lot about the Ducati since our first dry session in FP1 and the team worked really hard to get the bike feeling the way I wanted and for sure it’s getting there! I am looking forwards to Brands and getting the 959 Panigale to feel more like my own bike,” said Collier.
Railton added: “Great podium. The first half was brilliant leading it. I thought I had a comfortable gap but had a slight issue with my right arm and was struggling to feel the brake in the end. So I lost some pace there but nevertheless held the front guys. I maybe could’ve had a chance at the end. If I sort my arm issue out for the next one we’ll be right t