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Thread: BSB: Solid start for Ducati at Brands Hatch

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    Default BSB: Solid start for Ducati at Brands Hatch

    Solid start for Ducati at Brands Hatch

    Rapido Sport Racing make a solid start to their 2013 British Superbike campaign.

    Brands Hatch (5-7 April) saw Ducati contest the opening round of the British Superbike Championship in three classes at the Kent circuit.

    Rapido Sport Racing spearhead the challenge in British Superbikes in 2013 with former Italian Superbike Champion Matteo Baiocco piloting their sole Panigale.

    In the National Superstock 1000 Championship two teams represent Ducati with the 1199 Panigale. Robbie Brown, reigning 848 Challenge champion rides for DMC racing, while Rapido Sport Racing field Irish ace Lee Johnston who contested a number of successful wildcard rides in the class last year.

    Also returning for a fourth season, the Ducati TriOptions 848 Challenge will once again be the premier one-make class in the British Championship with 24 riders entered for this year.

    The weekend got off to a shaky start for Rapido Sport as the first free practice session was lost due to extremely cold weather. With still much work to do before the opening race, a high-side in free practice coming out of Clearways was a setback for rider and team. The team did a fantastic job to get the bike out for qualifying – a session that would be one of their best, as Baiocco put the bike 15th on the grid.

    Things did not go according to plan in the opening stages of race one with the Italian dropping back to 21st by the end of the first lap. As the race progressed, Baiocco moved through the field, and a late crash from two riders ahead of him bumped the Ducati up into 14th place, bringing home two championship points. Matteo’s fastest lap time in that race was, however, only enough for a 5th row start in race two, leaving him with it all to do again.

    Race two played out in almost exactly the same fashion as race one. A lack of experience around this difficult Brands Hatch Indy circuit showed into turn one, and Matteo dropped back into 23rd off the start line. A race-long comeback followed, and after some excellent overtaking manoeuvres the Rapido Sport Racing bike was back into a points-scoring position, finishing in 15th place.

    Steve Moore – Rapido Sport Racing team principle:

    “We’re pretty happy with that result – points in both races was good, and we beat some bikes that we know are a bit more developed than us. Matteo made two terrible starts but two good finishes – he made up five places in the last couple of laps of race two which is a great confidence booster. This is a track that doesn’t really suit our bike, so to be running such a good pace is really positive. We made good steps forward with the electronics compared to last year, but there’s still a long way to go. We’re looking forward to Thruxton – Matteo might struggle a bit with the more ‘rural’ aspects of the circuit, but it’s a very open, flat track which he’ll like.

    Matteo Baiocco:

    “I am happy with today – the bike was good. The track was difficult – not good for passing so I'm pleased that I make up so many places to finish in the points in both races. I’d like to say thank you to the physio staff at Brands Hatch who made it possible for me to race today after my big crash yesterday. I look forward to Thruxton next weekend – the team’s home circuit.”

    In National Superstock 1000s, both teams were hampered by rule changes regarding suspension which affected their ability to set up the bikes. Despite this, both riders qualified for the main race on Sunday. Robbie Brown started from 24th and was able to improve his starting position to finish 22nd. Lee Johnston started in 33rd position but moved through the field to 22nd only to be forced into the gravel by a falling rider which ended his race. The teams go into the next round at Thruxton hoping for further clarification on technical regulations.

    The Ducati TriOptions 848 Challenge kicked off in style with Jonathan Railton (Boast Plumbing/Art of Racing) taking the fight to the established front-runners right from the start. The Huntingdon rider produced two stunning rides to take a double victory on his championship debut. The other stand-out performers were Mike Edwards (Ohlďns @ P&H Motorcycles) and Marty Nutt (Ducati Coventry/JHP). Edwards picked up from last season’s consistent form with two podiums – a 2nd and 3rd, while Nutt went into this event under a lot of pressure after a serious crash last year at the opening round put him out for the majority of the season. Despite this, the rider from Castlerock went on to take two podium places.

    The Ducati TriOptions 848 Challenge returns as a support class to the European round of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Circuit (24-26 May)
    The next round of British Superbikes takes place this weekend at Thruxton Circuit (12-14 April)


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