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HomeDucati TriOptions CupBlaze Baker doubles up at Donington to complete an incredible debut weekend

Blaze Baker doubles up at Donington to complete an incredible debut weekend

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Blaze Baker doubles up at Donington to complete an incredible debut weekend

Blaze Baker doubles up at Donington to complete an incredible debut weekend

Blaze Baker doubles up at Donington to complete an incredible debut weekendBlaze Baker doubles up at Donington to complete an incredible debut weekend in the Ducati Cup.

The Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup returned to Donington Park this weekend, as a support class during the British World Superbike Round, offering plenty of close racing to entertain the fans.

Race 1 – Saturday
It was Blaze Baker’s maiden race in the Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup, and his first time at Donington Park, yet the South African racer still took the win in a thrilling race at the British World Superbike round onboard.

Out at the front, Baker (Track Demons Racing Powered by HMY) was battling with championship leader David Shoubridge (Rich Energy Ducati) and Tom Tunstall (MotorcycleRaceParts), with the lead changing several times. But Shoubridge crashed out unhurt on the very last lap, and Baker went on to take the win a second clear of Tunstall.

Mark Bridger was promoted to third as he started his last lap. The Moto46 rider managed to hold the position ahead of of Michael Tustin (AH Performance / Breckland Utility Solutions) and series newcomer Bob Collins (Team Aramex / ULS) to claim the final podium position, his second of the season.

Race 1 video:

Race 1 results
1. Blaze Baker (Track Demons Racing Powered by HMY)
2. Tom Tunstall (MotorcycleRaceParts) +1.054s
3. Mark Bridger (Moto46) +13.971s
4. Michael Tustin (AH Performance Breckland Utility Solutions) +14.607s
5. Bob Collins (Team Aramex/ULS) +14.735s

Blaze Baker
(Track Demons Racing Powered by HMY #51) – 1st
“The conditions were really hot out there. It was super close racing, right from the get-go. Nice close, clean racing. It was really good to swing it out here with the boys. First time out here, taking the win, I’m lost for words. I can’t thank Track Demons enough, my personal sponsors Barrington Hall USA, without you guys it wouldn’t have been possible to come out over here. We’ve done it, first race out here! Looking forward to tomorrow, a little bit of work to be done, I still wasn’t 100% comfortable on the bike but we’ll get there, there’s more to come.”

Tom Tunstall
(MotorcycleRaceParts #21) – 2nd
“It’s bit of a cliché, but the racing was pretty hot. Got out in form quite early on and I could hear them with me, I knew there were two bikes. And then from mid-race distance it was a bit of a bun fight, proper scraping. But it was clean, and good fun but with a group of three it was tricky to cut through. Obviously, Shouey slipped off just there at the end and I lost a little bit of time to Blaze which was a bit of a shame but it’s frustrating, that race win is there! But we have another race tomorrow, so we’ll get there, I’m sure.”

Mark Bridger
(Moto46 #29) – 3rd

“It’s nice to get on the podium. I missed it last time because someone got disqualified so I didn’t get to go on the podium. I’m over the moon. I’ve got to thank Paul Holden, Moto46, Jim, Neil, my missus, all my sponsors, Stevenage Tools, Abrasive Services. I’d like to thank everyone, too many to name but thank you very much.”

Race 2 – Sunday
Repeating yesterday’s impressive performance in his first-ever Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup race Baker was back on the top step of the podium.

Starting from pole, it looked like Baker was on for another battle with Shoubridge until the championship leader crashed out on the opening lap whilst leading to record a double DNF after starting the season with four consecutive wins.

Baker looked strong out at front, and although closely followed by Tunstall, he took the chequered flag to score his second win of the weekend. Tunstall finished less than half a second behind the Ducati Cup rookie, having to settle for second place in the race after backing off and managing heat issues due to the hot weather. But Tunstall’s elusive win gets ever closer.

Meanwhile there was a great battle for third between Collins and Lofthouse, with Collins ultimately winning out after a pass on the final lap saw him claim his maiden Ducati Cup podium finish in his first round in the Championship.

Race 2 video:

Race 2 results
1.  Blaze Baker (Track Demons Racing Powered by HMY)
2. Tom Tunstall (MotorcycleRaceParts) + 0.386
3. Bob Collins (Team Aramex/ULS) + 7.781
4. Max Lofthouse (JDF Racing) + 7.997
5. Michael Tustin (AH Performance Breckland Utility Solutions) + 11.574

Shoubridge’s double DNF sees Tunstall leapfrog him to lead the Championship with a 20-point advantage, while Baker is immediately in sixth after completing his first round.

Championship standings
1. Tom Tunstall – 120 points
2. David Shoubridge – 100 points
3. Michael Tustin – 67 points
4. Matthew Jones – 61 points
5. Max Lofthouse – 59 points
6. Blaze Baker – 50 points

Blaze Baker
(Track Demons Racing Powered by HMY #51) – 1st

“First round in the UK and we’ve done the double, I’m lost for words. That was definitely something special. It’s been such a fight from the beginning to get over here, at stages I was like is this ever going to happen? But a double on the day, I couldn’t be happier. A huge thank you to Track Demons Racing, The ATV Centre, Barrington Hall USA, without you guys I promise you I wouldn’t be standing here on the top step today. My family, everyone back at home, every single one of you guys that have put backing into me to get me over here I can’t thank you enough. This one’s for you guys!”

Tom Tunstall
(MotorcycleRaceParts #21) – 2nd

“I’m super frustrated unfortunately really. Unfortunate, I saw Shouey slide off early on, and at that point just sat behind Blaze and felt really confident. I almost felt like I was tripping up over him, we had more to go. I was aware of the temperature on the bike due to the hot conditions, and it just came up and up, I went over 120 degrees on the bike and it was flashing high, so I rolled off for a couple of laps and short shifted. I could see Blaze getting a bit of a gap, the plan was to go for a couple of laps and close him down which I did in the penultimate lap and I was super close in to the hairpin. That’s probably the closet we’ve been to a win, we had a really good opportunity there. But at the same time, another second place and I’ve got to be happy with that. We’ll get to Brands and keep pushing. It’s been a great weekend and good fun but still business to finish.”

Bob Collins
(Team Aramex / ULS #72) – 3rd

“It’s been an interesting up and down experience. Lee Devenport and Lee at Amarex welcomed me on board, quite last minute. We had two track days to get dialled into the bike. Came up here and had a crash in qualifying on the out lap and wrecked my chances of a decent position for Race 1. Started 14th and managed to get my way through to P4 on the grid for the next one. That race, a bit of a gift really, Dave Shoubridge crashed out on the lead in Lap 1 which wasn’t good. I then had a good battle with Max Lofthouse, a good tumble with him. He tried to bump me off at one point, but I’m 41, I’ve done this a few times so I weren’t having none of it! So, here we are, third place. I’m happy really because the other guys have been on it all year. More to come hopefully.”

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