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Ducati TriOptions Cup provides spectacular showdown at Oulton Park

The hugely impressive grid of 34 Ducati 899 Panigales was one of the stars of the Bank Holiday MCE British Superbike Championship this weekend (2-4 May) at Oulton Park in Cheshire. Sunday's TriOptions Cup showdown produced a thrilling finale, with 2011 champion Leon Morris securing his first victory of 2015.

Behind the fast-starting Carl Cox Motorsport/P&H rider there was an incredible story developing with a number of series front-runners racing through from the back of the field. Having crashed on his out lap in qualifying, reigning TriOptions Cup champion Dennis Hobbs charged off the line on his Carl Cox Motorsport/P&H 899 from 34th slot to be 11th after just one lap of the picturesque circuit. By lap three Hobbs was up to eighth and behind Rob Guiver on the Hyside Motorcycles machine who was soon to become the talking point of the ten-lap showdown.

At mid-distance Guiver began a series of circulations that repeatedly smashed the Ducati TriOptions lap record and hauled the #13 bike into contention for overall victory. By the eighth tour, he had passed Robbie Brown (Boast Plumbing) to take third position into Lodge and was soon on the back wheel of Marty Nutt (Penso/Ducati Coventry). With fantastic drive out of Druids, Guiver made another move at Lodge to take second place, and set about closing the 1.7s to Morris.

There was more late drama to come, however, as Guiver's Panigale was running low on fuel and cut out causing him to run wide and over the grass at Hislops. Nutt needed no second invitation to sweep past the Essex-based rider, and holding the defensive inside line into the final corner he just managed to keep second place at the flag.

Hobbs' superb race through the field means he maintains top spot in the standings by five points from Nutt. Morris is a further five in arrears in third with Guiver and Sean Neary (Paraplus) rounding out the top five championship positions. 

Leon Morris said: "After the disappointment of Brands that was really needed for us, we're really happy. Marty came past me and I did a pretty hard move to get him back but I was committed - after that I didn't see anyone. I think tomorrow will be a bit different but that is definitely a bit of a monkey off my back as we had a difficult opening round."

Rob Guiver said: "I am a bit gutted to be honest - starting from where I was it was a big ask to get the win but I was definitely after a rostrum anyway. I didn't have a great start, I was aiming for something a bit better but got boxed in and pushed out wide. When I got Marty at the end, the bike started cutting out going down the gears, it wasn't bad at first but then I had a big moment at Cascades and then going into Hislops it fully cut out and I had to pick it up and go across the grass. It turns out I was running out of fuel so I'm glad I managed to finish the race!  It was a bit of a shame not to get second but it's still good points and after what happened at Brands that's what I needed!"