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Dye and Knox crowned Champions at Silverstone

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The final round of the Triumph Triple Challenge at Silverstone was action packed as ever with Jimmy Dye winning the Michelin Cup Championship and Duncan Knox winning the TDG Cup Championship.

The weekend started with Chris Northover taking pole position from Phil Atkinson who held pole for the bulk of the session and only lost out in the closing moments as Northover took it from him by 0.497secs.

Tommy Dale lined up in third place on the front row of the grid and Tom Hayward completed the line up. Championship leader Jimmy Dye found it difficult to get to grips with the new circuit and gave himself a lot of work qualifying back in 11th position.

Coming into the Silverstone round Atkinson had been dominating the racing and knew he was still in with a shout at the title as he was 25 points behind Dye.

Mark Cheetham joined the ranks of the TDG Cup riders qualifying in eighth place overall and pole position for the TDG Cup.

TDG Cup Championship leader, Duncan Knox qualified in 13th place and second in the Cup. He had a tough qualifying as he went out initially without his transponder fitted so his team had the forethought to have him black flagged so this issue could be rectified. However when he went back out he felt he didn’t get into a good rhythm.

Northover said: “I just got some laps in and was concentrating on set-up. I was happy enough when I was in third as front row is what is important. I put a few more laps in and was surprised to see that I was pole when I came back in. I’m excited about the race and the weather has improved so it will be good. I want to stay out of the Atkinson Dye battle and just ride my own race.”

Cheetham said: “I made up 6 seconds from yesterday, we fitted a different shock and it is a lot better. I’m happy to be on pole. It’s a great track; it’s as good as it looks on TV. It’s all about the apexes and not shutting off. I still feel I can go a bit faster as I had a problem with my front tyre warmer before I went out so I had to go steady for a few laps.”

Pole sitter Chris Northover picked up the first win of the weekend but he had his work cut out as Championship contender Atkinson took the early lead and held off Northover for the opening two laps. Tommy Dale briefly interrupted play by taking the lead on lap three, but Northover was determined to win and it was at this point that he took the lead and stayed there to the chequered flag.

The podium battle saw six different riders in contention as they all jostled for position. Dale and Toby Markham got well and truly mugged by quiet Irishman Emmet O’Grady. He tailed the leading group for the full race distance and made his move right at the end to secure second place. This left Markham with third place on the podium.

Atkinson came over the line in an uncharacteristic fourth place whilst championship leader Dye, came through from 11th to seventh. This left the Championship chase to be decided on the outcome of the final race of the year.

The TDG Cup riders also had an epic race with Duncan Knox playing it safe and settling for second place to take the Championship. The race was won by Mark Cheetham who finished in 11th overall and gave Knox a run for his money at the start of the race. Chad Hashmi took third place just ahead of Jamie Poole.

Northover said: “That was good fun and it’s great to get a win here at Silverstone. I was determined not to get mugged today, I know I’ve mugged a few people so I didn’t want a taste of my own medicine. I’m looking forward to race two on Sunday.”

O’Grady said: “I sat on the back of the top three as they had the pace and then on the last few laps I started to make some moves. I’m happy to be on the podium and can’t wait for race two.”

Markham said: “I got a bad start, I went from fifth to ninth and then tried to ride around everyone at turn one. It was a hard race trying to get through everyone; by the time I got to second place Chris already had a bit of a gap and then Emmett got me.”

Cheetham said: “I wheelied off the start and all the young guns came past me. I had a good battle with Duncan but then I got away. I used an old tyre and I had a few big slides towards the end so I’ll have a new one for Sunday.”

TDG Cup Champion Knox said: “I really enjoyed that. I started well and had a good dice with Mark Cheetham but I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardise the title so when I saw +2, +3 on my board I decided to bring it home. Well done to Chad as he has pushed me all year, the TDG Cup has been excellent and I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Hashmi said: “Well done to Duncan on winning the Championship. I had a big battle in that race with Jamie Poole; I need to stay ahead of him tomorrow to keep my second place in the Championship so we shall see how we go.”

The second race of the weekend saw Toby Markham finally stand on the top step of the podium and while Markham was taking the win, Jimmy Dye came home in ninth place which was enough to secure the title.

Just before the race the weather took a turn for the worst leaving the riders in a quandary as to what tyres to run. The track was actually quite dry which caught a lot of people out.

As the lights went out it was Phil Atkinson who jumped straight into the lead with Chris Northover second and Markham in third place. Atkinson’s lead was short lived as he got mugged on the first lap going from first to fourth and fourth place man Tommy Dale taking first!

TDG Cup Champion Duncan Knox was able to ride his own race with no pressure as he had already secured the title. He was finally able to race the red Michelin Cup bikes and by lap three he was up to fifth place.

Markham started pushing for the lead on lap three and Atkinson slotted back into second place leaving Dale trailing in third with Knox up to fourth. As the race came to a conclusion Markham pipped Atkinson to the win by just 0.056secs.

Knox won the TDG Cup but finished in fifth place overall, Mark Cheetham was second and Jamie Poole in his usual third place.

Newly crowned Michelin Cup Champion Jimmy Dye said: “I felt more relaxed today after Saturday’s race. I knew I needed to finish in the top 11 so I didn’t push it and came home in ninth place. It’s great to pick up the title again. This series has helped give me my confidence back after my big crash at Cadwell Park last year.”

Markham said: “My first race win, it’s been a long time coming! I left it to the last round to do it but I was determined I was going to win. I think this circuit suits me better as it is more like what I’m used to racing on with the GPs. I also think I’ve finally got used to the bike. I’d like to thank everyone who backed me this year and supported me along the way.”

Atkinson said: “It just didn’t go my way today and it was a tough race. The weather didn’t help matters. Also being the final round a lot of riders who have been steadily progressing all year were suddenly at the front, so I was racing people I haven’t raced before and I didn’t know what to expect.”

Dale said: “That was a good race but I went for the wrong tyres so towards the end I couldn’t keep the pace. It’s been a good season, I’ve really enjoyed it.”

TDG Cup Champion Knox said: “That was excellent. No pressure on me and I’ve wanted to race the red bikes all year! It’s been a great year, great championship and great lads. I’m really glad I came back, I’ve really enjoyed racing Chad and Jamie.”

Cheetham said: “I’m amazed I got back in one piece as I had a big front end slide on the first lap. I slide for about 40 metres before it caught again. Then I had a big rear slide later on! Great race.”

Poole said: “That was a good finish. The track has been hard to learn and the weather hasn’t helped. I got a good start and picked my way through. It was a good race and a good finish to the year.”

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