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World Supersport

Tuesday 7th May 2013

PROGRESS MADE FOR DUCATI AT OULTON PARK

Points scored in both Superstock 1000 and British Superbike classes at Cheshire circuit

After a challenging round for all the Ducati riders last time out at Thruxton Circuit, Oulton Park this weekend (4-6 May) was a confidence-boosting step in the right direction.

Rapido Sport Racing’s Matteo Baiocco is yet to find the absolute pace in his 1199 Panigale, but made steady progress throughout the weekend to eventually finish in the points in the second and final race of the day.

The weekend started out steadily for the Italian rider – not helped by the fact that the first free practice session was affected by rain. The rest of the weekend stayed dry, however, and Baiocco got quicker and quicker as the sessions went on. In race one he moved forward from his qualifying position of 21st to close down the riders in the final points-scoring positions, eventually crossing the line just a bit further back in 17th.

Starting from the same position in race two, the sole Ducati rider in the BSB class capitalised on an early incident ahead of him to jump up to 15th on the first lap. He consolidated this position and set consistently good lap times, battling with the likes of Ryuichi Kiyonari – a three time British Superbike Champion. The thundering Panigale eventually crossed the line in 14th position with Matteo taking two championship points, although his progress over the weekend is perhaps best shown in the fact that his fastest lap time in race two was over half a second better than his qualifying time.

Steve Moore, Team Principle of Moto Rapido Sport Racing was satisfied with the weekend’s work, “This was a good solid weekend for the team, we knew Oulton would be tough, just not how tough. I think we suffered because we had not done any dry testing here and losing most of free practice through rain didn’t help. However when we did get some dry track time we made big jumps every session and by the weekend Matteo was running at top 10 pace. We now have a good set up for when we return to Oulton later in the year and we will get some testing in between now and Knockhill.”

Progress was also the story of the day for the lone Ducati in the National Superstock 1000 series. Robbie Brown flew the flag for the Italian marque aboard his DMC Racing machine, as fellow Panigale rider Lee Johnston was unable to ride for Rapido Sport Racing due to injuries sustained in a high-speed crash at Thruxton three weeks ago.

Qualifying 23rd on the packed Superstock grid of 40 bikes, Brown made a fantastic start in the race and moved forward eight places in the first few corners. His experience battling in the Ducati TriOptions 848 Challenge in the last two seasons seems to be helping the Biddulph-based rider in the Superstock class, as he is completely unfazed battling right in the middle of the intensely competitive Superstock field. He spent much of the race trading places between 14th and 16th, and was just out of the points going into the final lap. Not content with what would have been a respectable position, Brown snatched 15th place on the last lap and scored his first points of the 2013 season.

There is a big gap between now and the next British Superbike meeting at Knockhill (14-16 June), and this will give all Ducati teams the chance to do some invaluable testing before their trip up to Scotland.

 

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