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848 Challenge Race Report - Silverstone - Round 1

Fry's Double Delight

26th April 2010

Silverstone, 25 April Buildbase/JHP Racing's Darren Fry recorded a brace of firsts at the Silverstone National circuit in what was the first round of the Ducati 848 Challenge. Starting from a pole position gained in drying conditions in qualifying, Fry went on to take both race wins from Buildbase team mate Leon Morris who was placed second in both races, followed by Mark Cheetham who was third in both races.

Race one was red flagged on the first lap due to an incident that saw second place qualifier Ben Garner crash out and sadly have to miss the remainder of the fixture with concussion. At the restart, Morris got an exceptional start and led the field until lap 5 when he was caught by Fry as both riders negotiated backmarkers. A promising start to the race for Stuart Poyser was brought to an unfortunate end at Maggots on lap 3 when he was taken out by another competitor, while Alan Walker on the TR Motorsport bike retired from the race with mechanical problems. Some close racing in the middle of the pack saw Mark Cheetham on the Shorrock Motorcycles machine steadily pull away from Michael Neeves, Peter Hasler, and Barry Poll, with Alastair Fagan on the Ducati VIP Bike and Sean Hourigan, in his first ever race, completing the field. At the chequered flag, Fry had a comfortable 5 second lead over his team mate and recorded the day's fastest lap of 1:01.47.

Race two again saw Morris get the better start, so too Hasler on the Boast Plumbing/1st Call bike making up places from the third row. Fry took the lead on lap 3 and started to open up a gap on the others and on the same lap Cheetham moved into third ahead of Hasler. The journalistic duo of Neeves, on the Ducati Glasgow/MotoRapido bike, and Fagan reeled in Hasler by lap 6 to bring the pack together, as Poll rode a largely incident free race on the Perfect Move-sponsored 848. Mechanical gremlins now fixed, Walker brought home Hourigan to complete the field.

The Buildbase pair look very strong for the coming season with the backing of the experienced JHP Racing team, but with over four weeks until the next round at Assen in late May there is plenty of time for the other teams and riders to continue to improve their bikes having now raced them for the first time. Further updates and photos available on the Ducati 848 Challenge website, www.ducati848challenge.co.uk.