Morris extends Ducati TriOptions Cup lead with Knockhill win
20-point lead for Morris after second win of 2015 Guiver steals last-gasp victory in second race Egan powers forward in National Superstock 1000
Leon Morris has extended his lead in the 2015 Ducati TriOptions Cup with a victory and a third place at Knockhill in Fife this weekend (4/5 July). Despite some extreme weather over the three days, the UK’s top one-make series provided some thrilling action, while Ducati racer in the National Superstock 1000 class James Egan equalled his best result of the season.
In dry conditions on Friday it was the P&H/Carl Cox Motorsport pairing of Morris and Dennis Hobbs leading the way, and following a delayed start on Saturday due to fog and overnight track damage it was Hobbs who secured pole position. Robbie Brown and Greg Gilfillan completed the front row for Boast Plumbing and G5G Racing respectively, with Morris heading up the second row.
When the lights went out in race one Morris blasted through and into second place, but in the early running it was local rider Hobbs holding station at the front. Finally on lap ten Morris pulled the pin and made the pass, and he was then able to create a comfortable gap of over 3.5s at the chequered flag.
Front row man and triple winner at the last round Brown crashed out of the contest on lap two, meaning it was local rider Gilfillan from third on the grid who took up position behind the lead pair. With a previous best finish of fifth this year, the 20-year-old rode impressively to secure his first rostrum just ahead of championship challenger Rob Guiver and fellow local rider William Monie who also enjoyed his best result of fifth.
It was Morris on pole for race two thanks to his fastest lap in the opening encounter, but Guiver immediately took the lead off the line from second place aboard the Hyside Motorcycles 899 Panigale. Hobbs also made it through demoting the pole-sitter to third, but by lap five the #2 bike had made it back through and it was Morris from Hobbs at the front once again.
In the closing stages there was a titanic battle for the lead, as Morris dropped back to third and Guiver and Hobbs repeatedly traded blows to try and secure victory. It looked as though local man Hobbs had done enough for his third win of 2015, but at the final hairpin on the last lap Guiver made a bold move and stole glory from the reigning champion.
Morris completed the podium positions ahead of another impressive performance from Gilfillan in fourth. After his race one crash, Brown recovered to fifth ahead of Sean Neary on the Paraplus-backed bike.
Click here to view the full Ducati TriOptions Cup results from the weekend.
In National Superstock 1000 James Egan continues to impress aboard the 1199 Panigale. The MWR Motorsports rider is learning to tackle each new track aboard the Italian machine as the 2015 season progresses, and once again the improvements across the weekend from the South African was superb.
From 19th in free practice, Egan progressed to 12th on the grid in qualifying before going on to secure eighth position in the race – his equal best finish of the year.
Click here to view the final classification from the National Superstock 1000 class.
Battle recommences for the Ducati TriOptions Cup riders at Cadwell Park on 21/23 August, while the National Superstock 1000 and British Superbike racing will resume in just two weeks’ time at Brands Hatch on 17/19 July.
The Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati squad will field replacement rider John Hopkins at the Kent venue, as regular campaigner Jakub Smrz recovers from an injury sustained at Snetterton. Hopkins will run #15 on his return to MCE BSB rather than his usual 21 – the number which he ran throughout his childhood whilst racing motocross before moving into circuit racing. Click here to read the full story of Hopkins’ return.