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Palmer wins again in National Superstock 1000

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The British Superbike Championship headed back to Cheshire this weekend for an action-packed triple-header at the second Oulton Park round of the season. Ducati enjoyed another excellent weekend, with some superb racing in the TriOptions 848 Challenge, progress in the main BSB class and a second victory of the season for Tristan Palmer in National Superstock 1000.

Palmer continued his run of excellent form and proved beyond all doubt that the Panigale in the right hands is a formidable machine in the class. He blitzed the rest of the field on his Rapido Sport Racing machine in qualifying to go fastest on a 1:38.317s despite losing some valuable track time earlier in the day to a wheel-speed sensor failure. From pole Palmer made a clean getaway and held the lead in the all-important opening laps. He was unable to break away at the front, but controlled the pace brilliantly to hold off the attentions of Adam Jenkinson and Tommy Aquino by just 0.2s over the line after 14 laps. Tristan now moves into fifth in the championship standings – an amazing feat given that he has only contested half of the rounds so far this season.

Matteo Baiocco has been consistently faster in every session this weekend in the main BSB class. Progressing through to the second part of qualifying yesterday he could only manage 18th on the grid for race one which was staged late on in the afternoon. He made steady progress on the 1199 Panigale RS to finish three places ahead of where he started and in the points in 15th. With more track time came more confidence for the reigning Italian Superbike champion, and in race two he was able to battle his way through from 17th on the grid to cross the line 13th and well inside the points. Starting the final contest again from 17th, Matteo made up a place early on but couldn’t quite make it into the points, crossing the line 16th despite once again making progress in terms of lap time.

Dennis Hobbs celebrated a double win coming out on top in two thrilling TriOptions 848 Challenge races. In race one Hobbs took the honours ahead of Leon Morris and Marty Nutt following an exciting six-way scrap. In race two Hobbs was embroiled in a battle with Ben Field who was to push Hobbs all the way before crashing out on the final lap, leaving Morris and Nutt to again finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Tristan Palmer said:

“It was the perfect weekend to take pole and the race win. The Ducati worked great for the whole race, I lost a bit of grip near the end but I knew the guys were following me so I made it difficult for them by riding nice tight lines and not giving them any space to get past. I was trying to gap them for the first half of the race but realised it wasn’t happening, so I knew it would go right to the end. I didn’t want to let them past, and instead I stayed consistent and made them to all the work.”

Matteo Baiocco, Rapido Sport Racing Ducati said:

“My start was not so bad, but I lost places in the first two corners, I tried different lines but it was difficult, I have not been fast in these moments of the race, every time I start behind it is difficult especially at this track it is hard to overtake, but lap times were OK, I just need to start better in the first two corners. The bike was better than the first race (race 2), but the position was not so good, this race was better because we finish much closer to the top riders. I am happy because the bike is better but the positions were not, I tried my best and now we look forward to Cadwell.”

Steve Moore, team principal, Rapido Sport Racing said:

“The lap times are good now, much better than last year, but there is too much work starting from 17th on the grid. We are struggling with a lack of testing time at each circuit, we are still making changes between qualifying one and two and then testing again in warm up, if we qualified again at the end of the today we would be just outside the top ten. After the safety car went in in race three, Matteo was in 19th but lapping the same pace as the guys in sixth and seventh, so we know the pace is there. Points in two of the three races is not too bad.”

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