TEAM MTR's 2018 NEWSLETTER

Welcome to TeamMTR's latest newsletter of 2018. Mike and the team headed to Donington Park for Round 1 of the Ducati TriOptions Cup on Easter weekend.

With a positive pre-season testing schedule complete, the team were looking to improve on their 13th place finish from last season, and break into the top 10 at a circuit Mike enjoys.

Qualifying
After a wet Free Practice session, Mike was feeling fairly confident for the first Qualifying session of the season. With track temperature and conditions still not ideal, Mike decided to head out wet tyres, with the option of a dry tyre if the track dried significantly. Fortunately, wet tyres were the right option, and Mike managed secure 6th place on the grid for Sundays Race , recording the teams best qualifying position to date.

Race1

Sundays Race 1 was held in the weekends best weather, with a completely dry track for the first time over the weekend. Although track temperature was low, the dry option tyres were the only way forward. After a good start, and holding position, Mike unfortunately dropped back down the field to cross the line in 12th position. This was a little disappointing for the team, as everyone had hoped for a top 10 finish, especially from the starting position. Nevertheless, still some solid points scoring for the first race of the season.
Race 2

After Race 1's dry race, the rain fell heavily overnight, forcing the organisers to consider cancelling Mondays racing altogether. Thankfully, the marshals at Donington managed to clear the track which allowed us to go racing Monday afternoon. The conditions in race 2 were appalling, with so much water and spray to contend with. The grid position was determined by the lap time from the Race 1, meaning Mike had to start in 14th for Mondays race.

A good start allowed Mike to make some places up the first lap, and as the race wore on, the bike was able to come to Mike, and he pushed on to come home in an impressive 5th place, and record the 3rd fastest lap of the race.
This is the teams second highest finishing position in this class, and well deserved after all the effort that had been put in over the weekend.

Conclusion

After a positive start in Qualifying, Race 1 didn't quite go to the teams plan. It seems that TeamMTR have made massive strides forward in the wet weather setup of the bike, but still missing one key ingredient in the dry weather pace. Although 12th is still an improvement from last year, Mike feels that both him and the team are capable of running within the top 10 on a regular basis.

But the result from Mondays race clearly shows that both Mike and the machine are more than able to run at the sharp end of this Champiosnhip.

The next meeting is at Brands Hatch Indy for Round 2 of the Ducati TriOptions Cup on 13-14th April.

If you would like any tickets then feel free to email Mike.

Once again, TeamMTR Ducati Oxford would like to thank all their sponsors and partners for continuing to support them throughout this upcoming season.



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2018 ROUND 1 DUCATI TRI OPTIONS CUP - DONINGTON PARK

Round 1 of the Ducati Tri Options Cup was held at Donington Park over the Easter Weekend, as support of the British Superbike Championship. The class consists of the Ducati 959 Panigale, with very limited changes allowed to the bike. Your own suspension is the only major difference between bikes, making it a very even playing field for all competitors.
The weather over the weekend was as inconsistent as I’ve ever seen it, with low track temperatures of 5 degrees, and heavy rainfall for a lot of the weekend. But we were back racing at BSB and buzzing to get the season underway! We had 3 tests cancelled prior to the season, due to snow through out England, so I was as keen as ever to turn some laps on my Ducati.

The race weekend was held from Saturday to Monday over the Easter holiday, giving us one practice session and one qualifying session on Saturday. It was a wet track for our first run out in practice, but I built my speed up every lap as I was growing in confidence, in the damp and cool conditions. I finished the practice session in 1st, which was a great feeling, to have some good feel for the wet conditions. For qualifying the track temperature had lowered further, but a dry line had started to appear on most of the circuit. There was still one corner however, which was soaking wet, meaning it was the best option to take to qualifying with wet tyres on. We had good pace in the tricky conditions to qualify on the front row, in 3rd position.

For Sundays race the track had completely dried, but it was our first run in the dry for the weekend. I got a good start to get the whole shot in to turn one, before being over taken at turn 2. I followed pole sitter, Lewis Rollo for half a lap, before making a move on him. For the next 3 laps I managed to get in to a great rhythm and stretch the lead to 2 seconds. From there I was able to manage the gap and put in some consistent and strong laps. I led for the remainder of the race, keeping my head down and riding my own race, crossing the finish line with the first win of the season!! The best way to start our 2018 campaign!

Mondays weather was dismal and nothing got on track until 1:30pm due to the sheer amount of rainfall. Our race went ahead in the end with an extremely wet track. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the same feeling as I was able to have in the wet on Saturday, and I rode to 15th position. I am positive we have certainly found some feeling in the wet, as we showed it in practice and qualifying, but it didn’t go our way in the race, with a few of the other front runners in this years championship having difficulty also. I am hoping for some more wet session to build upon our lessons learnt and turn it in to some good wet races.

Our next race is at Brands Hatch Indy in two weeks time, and I’m absolutely buzzing to get back on my BPS Racing/AJN Steelstock Ducati 959 to continue to work hard with my team on building on our positive first round. We have shown we have the pace to be fighting for the championship this season, and I’m very fortunate to have an amazing team, sponsors and family behind me supporting me in every way. This wouldn’t be possible with out the support of everyone at BPS Racing and AJN Steelstock so I am very grateful to them!



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SAM COX'S 2018 SEASON BLOG

Please click on the photo to view it.



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