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.

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.


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.


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.



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!



Please click on the photo to view it.



The two Zoek Racing riders, Sean Neary and Craig Currie were at Brands Hatch for round two of the Ducati TriOptions Cup at the weekend resulting in a second and fifth place for Lymm Rider Sean Neary and a 17th for Newark rider Craig Currie.

Neary was up in the top four throughout free practice and qualifying and began the first of two 15 lap races from a second row grid position in fourth place. As the lights went out Neary got a good start and was up to second place on the first lap. He took the lead on lap three but was pushed back to second place one lap later when Rob Guiver took over the top spot.

Although he was never more than a few tenths away from the leader, Neary could not find a path through to snatch the lead on the short and tricky Indy circuit at the Kent venue and towards the end of the race decided to opt for a safe second place and 20 championship points sooner than make a risky move and perhaps throw it all away.

He said: “P2 in today’s race, I’ll take that! I really wanted that win but wins don’t come easy in this class! Big thanks to the Zoek Racing Team and all our sponsors for always backing me no matter what. I didn’t score any points in the first three races last year so it’s a big improvement!”

By the time the second race got underway the rain had arrived making for tricky conditions. Neary held the lead for a couple of laps but dropped back to finish the race in fifth place. He said: “ I racked up some more points in that race and its now on to my home round next at Oulton Park. Big thanks to the whole team and our sponsors. We just need some luck for Craig now.”

Neary is currently third in the rider standings on 54 points.

Craig Currie was running in the top 15 during qualifying and began the first race on Saturday from the fifth row in 13th place. But despite running in a point scoring position through the majority of laps he was beaten back to 17th on the final lap by Waghorn and Hill who caught and passed him on the final lap.

Currie said: “Towards the end of the race I had a few issues with the bike so lost a bit of ground. But at least I finished the race and tomorrow is another day!”

Unfortunately the Newark rider was unable to take part in race two because of ongoing problems with the Ducati.



Calum Pryce-Tidd is one of the most methodical and thoughtful bike builders operating in Europe today. And his philosophy is spot on: “It’s important not to tear up a great production bike to make something harder or less practical to ride,” he believes. “So we retain the core of the bike, and then improve it with lightweight bodywork and upgraded components.” This means more of the right stuff, and there’s a lot of the right stuff on this ultra classy Triumph Thruxton R.

Builds from deBolex hark back to the classic era of vehicle design, which Calum describes as “a combination of effortless style and a fundamental quality.” The approach is akin to traditional coach building or race car engineering. “Our build process is similar to that of the 50s and 60s racing eras,” he says. “Manufacturers would remove the heavy steel bodies from their saloons and sports cars, and replace them with lightweight aluminum bodies—and improve the chassis and engine performance at the same time.”

This Thruxton R was a no-compromise build, commissioned by Prince Mateen of Brunei. Given that the prince is a graduate of the Sandhurst military academy, a qualified helicopter pilot and a national-level sportsman, deBolex had some very high standards to meet. “We had freedom in the design, so we built a bike completely true to our hearts and ethos,” says Calum. He and his partner, Des Francis, have taken influence from early TT racers, but added a unique twist and a modern edge.

First on the list was the chassis and stance. That meant a sandblast, plus top-shelf Excel rims with a clear anodized finish and stainless steel spokes. They’re wrapped in Metzeler Racetec RR tyres. The suspension on the Thruxton R is pretty good in stock form, but deBolex have upgraded it with new fork internals and rear shocks from the British racebike specialist Maxton.

Then deBolex worked with Fastec Racing to design a new top yoke, and upgraded the front brakes to Brembo’s 484 calipers and 320mm discs from ISR. At the same time, modified Rizoma rear sets were installed with the help of custom brackets machined by Fastec. “For the controls we added Magura HC3 master cylinders with a hydraulic clutch conversion, which gives a smooth and lightweight clutch feel,” Calum says. “Venhill Engineering supplied brake lines with stainless steel fixings.”

The attention to detail doesn’t stop there: deBolex have even relocated the drive-by-wire throttle unit to the belly pan, and converted it to a cable system for a more traditional feel. The bodywork is all aluminum. “We started with the belly pan and radiator cowling,” says Calum. “The aim was to enclose the lower frame rails, and give the radiator a more tailored design. These were probably the most challenging pieces to make—there were a lot of angles, shapes and joints to consider to create a natural, unbroken flow.”

The scalloped fuel tank is closer to a classic café profile than Triumph’s original, and was shaped on a wooden buck. The fuel pump is mounted on an aluminum base, and the tank is topped off with a Rizoma fuel cap and one-way valve. The matching seat and tail section use deBolex’s proprietary quick release design. There’s a pressed steel seat pan base, which is rubber mounted and can be removed via the original Triumph seat release system.

There’s more quick-release trickery on the fairing/racing number board, with a headlight cover that can be slipped into a soft bag under the seat. With such bespoke bodywork on the cards, deBolex didn’t want compromise the lines by having to work around the standard wiring loom. They also faced complications in removing the standard instruments. So they decided to build a bespoke wiring loom and ECU set up.

“This work was carried out by X Bikes, who designed and built a highly-detailed loom,” says Calum. Deutsch connectors are used throughout the bike to add to the race feel and make maintenance easy. The ECU and fly-by-wire control unit are now mounted under the seat and tail, compressed into a neat and lightweight package fed by a tiny Shorai battery. DeBolex have also added ‘Race’ and ‘Town’ riding maps, and a Cordona quick shifter—making the Thruxton R very easy to ride.

A Motogadget m.unit blue supplies power to the lights, including ‘m.blaze pin’ indicators and a Highsider tail Light. With 87 rear wheel horsepower—according to the Cycle World dyno, because Triumph only quotes torque—the Thruxton R is a already a brisk ride. So deBolex have simply freed up the breathing with K&N filters and a new exhaust system, fabricated in-house from stainless steel.

The design takes inspiration from the traditional Siamese systems found on older Triumphs and the muffler is from the British company Keihan Systems. The finishing is typically top notch. The frame has been powder coated in a glossy black, components such as the Motone switch housings and master cylinder bodies have been finished in a matt grey Cerakote, and the exhaust has been treated to a high temperature version of Cerakote—with all work carried out by Flying Tiger Coatings.

DeBolex carried out the paint and trimming in house, though, applying a Triumph Jet black with a metallic silver stripe and gold logos. The upholstery is a water resistant Alcantara fabric. Before the Thruxton was fully built up, it did several stints on the dyno at X Bikes—to give it a smooth but responsive feel at the throttle. Then Calum took the bike to the famous Goodwood Race circuit.

“The cars and motorcycles that have raced there over the years have inspired much of what we do,” he says. “So it was a fitting place for testing and filming before handing the bike over to Prince Mateen.” “We unloaded the Triumph on an early winter’s morning. After constantly checking the weather leading up to the test day, we were relieved when the sun burst through. It was our first chance to really reflect on the build in the most perfect environment—and the bike looked right at home.”

It must have been a magical moment. Straight out of the box, the Thruxton R is a magnificent flying machine—but this custom is truly next level.

To watch a video of this remarkable bike please click here.



KMR/IEG Kawasaki took their first road race win of the season on Saturday with Derek McGee taking a hard fought win in the Supertwins race at the Tandragee 100. The Mullingar rider came home 0.921s clear of Adam McLean.

Riding the ER6 650cc Kawasaki for former racer and team owner Ryan Farquhar, McGee claimed pole position around the 5.34-mile circuit on Friday evening with a lap of 102.818mph which put him 1.5s ahead of McLean with Davey Todd the only other rider to break the 100mph barrier.

Race day at the County Armagh venue saw perfect conditions all round the undulating, high speed course and at the end of the opening lap, Derek held a 1.1s lead over McLean with a near identical gap between the duo after the first two laps. There was little to choose between the two riders though and it was McLean who led across the line at the end of lap three.

However, McGee was in determined mood and as they crossed the line at the end of the fourth lap and headed out for their fifth and final lap, he was back in front albeit by just a tenth of a second. He wasn’t to be denied either and although it was McLean who set the fastest lap of the race, on lap three, Derek was the quicker of the two on the final lap and he duly crossed the line to take his first victory for the team.

Indeed, it was a successful day all round for McGee as he added a second victory in the Supersport race when riding the B&W Racing Kawasaki whilst he also took second and third in the two Superbike races when riding his own ZX-10 Kawasaki.

Ryan Farquhar, Team Owner: “It’s a very busy time of the year with the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT Races on the horizon so it’s great to go into those meetings on the back of a win. Derek’s been riding well all season, not just on the Twin but on his own bikes too, so I’m delighted he took a good win on the KMR/IEG Kawasaki at Tandragee. It’s what he deserved and it gives us all a boost ahead of next week’s North West 200.”

The team now turn their attention to the International North West 200 where former 250cc Grand Prix winner Jeremy McWilliams and Canadian Darren James will contest the two Supertwin races. McWilliams will head into the event amongst the race favourites having won in both 2013 and 2015 with a brace of second place finishes to his name as well.



Joe Collier took a strong second place in the Superstock 1000 race earlier today, aboard his EHA Racing/In Competition Aprilia RSV4 RF during the Bank Holiday meeting at Oulton Park from his P2 front row grid position – thus maintaining the team’s one hundred percent podium record to date this season. Collier also took the fastest lap of the race.

The 23-year-old rode a strong race at the front of the field and was joined by his team-mate Andy Reid in the early laps, before the Ulsterman was forced to retire with a mechanical problem. That left the Leicestershire ace in a three way battle for the victory, narrowly losing out at the end of 15 pulsating laps by just a few hundredths of a second to Keith Farmer.

Speaking afterwards Joe said: “It’s been a good weekend all round for me here at Oulton Park. We made minimal changes to the bike in all sessions and got the best out of the EHA Racing Aprilia package today in the race. It was a great race and I felt I had the pace to win, but made a little mistake on the last lap, although it was a tight finish and Farmer just nipped it for the win. I’m happy enough with second place going into this little break, so roll on Snetterton where we will be looking for the top step.”

Andy Reid, who had a spell at the front in the early stages before retiring with a mechanical, said: “We’re obviously disappointed to have had to retire from a race that I feel we were certainly strong enough in, to challenge for the win, but these things happen. Up until that point the EHA Racing/In Competition RSV4 RF package was working very well for me and despite a couple of issues over the weekend, we have demonstrated that we are strong front running contenders. Congratulations to Joe on his podium.”

Gail Allingham – Team Manager:
“We’re obviously delighted for Joe and disappointed for Andy at the same time, as we feel there was a great opportunity to have both EHA Racing Aprilias on the podium. It was certainly a very exciting race and it could have gone either way, but we are very proud of the effort Joe made. He moves to third in the championship standings and with Andy in fifth, both are still well in the championship hunt. Thanks as always to our hard working team and to our sponsors and fans who turned up to support us.”



The two Zoek Racing riders were competing in round three of the Ducati TriOptions Cup at Oulton Park in Cheshire over the bank holiday weekend with Sean Neary from Lymm recording a win and a third place to lead the championship by a healthy nine points and Newark rider Craig Currie securing an 18th place in race two after retiring from the first race with a technical issue.

Neary was competing at his home track and a large contingent of supporters was there to see him race. They were not disappointed as after qualifying in fourth place Neary started the first race from the second row right behind the pole sitter.

He got away to a good start moving straight into second place behind Lewis Rollo and followed him around the Cheshire circuit for a few laps before making his challenge for the lead on lap six of 10. The pair circulated in close company with Rollo challenging at every corner but Neary wasn’t prepared to back off and retained the lead. On the penultimate lap Rollo made a mistake and slid off unhurt out of the race leaving Neary to romp home for his first win of the current campaign with just over a second to spare from Rob Guiver.

He said: “I followed Rollo to see where his weak spots were for me to make a move on him. when I did get past him I kept my cool, checked my pit board and maintained the lead, I lost my knee slider with three laps to go so felt unable to get around the left handers so well. But I had a bit in reserve as well just in case I needed it and am absolutely made up to get the win and have to say a massive thank you to the Zoek Racing team for sticking by me and for all the help from Maxton suspension this weekend.”

In race two Neary didn’t get such a good start and settled into third place for the three laps before being overtaken by Lewis Rollo. But he never gave up and regained third place on lap seven which he held to the chequered flag for his second podium finish of the weekend.

He said: “Third today just caps a solid weekend at Oulton. I am leaving round three with the championship lead so can’t ask for more than that. It will be a long old battle this year but I’m well up for it. Huge thanks to Zoek Racing Team, Matthew Sanders of Zoek, and Paul Nolan of Charlestown for his countless work behind the scenes. Evolution Waste, Craig Currie, JHP Ducati Coventry, Steve Jackson @Toiletspares, Chris Dutton of Claim Eazy, Motul, Joe Carlin, Guy Mainwaring of Held, Shark Helmets, Maxton, Lee Jackson, Applied Nutrition, Warrior Club, Tom Tucker Caines and the whole team for all their hard graft they deserve it, legends the lot of them - and of course Nicola Gore for always supporting me.”

Newark rider Craig Currie was not so successful this weekend but after completing his qualifying in 12th place was looking forward to a good race. As the lights went out he set off from a fourth row grid position but found himself down in 22nd place on the first lap. He made it back up to 19th on lap five but then encountered a technical issue and was forced to retire with three laps remaining


With the bike back up and running for race two Currie took his place on the starting grid but much further back on row seven. He didn’t get the best of starts but soon recovered and began to make progress, moving into the top 20 on lap four. He continued to move forward and was right behind Paul Slade on the final lap. But although the pair crossed the finish line side by side Slade took flag for 17th place by a whisker from Currie who was just 57 thousandths of a second adrift in 18th place.


McWilliams gives KMR Kawasaki second NW200 podium

Following on from their second place finish on Thursday, Jeremy McWilliams and the IEG/KMR Kawasaki team took another runners-up spot in the Supertwin race on Saturday with the Ulsterman again excelling at the International North West 200.

Conditions were again perfect all the way round the 8.9-mile circuit and the four-lap race was again a thrilling encounter as the former 250cc Grand Prix winner battled for the race win throughout with James Cowton and Joey Thompson, only missing out on the race win by 0.602s.

A good start saw Jeremy take an early lead on the opening lap but by the time the field started lap two, it was Thompson who led from Adam McLean as Jeremy slipped back to third ahead of Cowton and Thursday’s race winner Martin Jessopp. It looked like it would be another five-rider battle for the race win but McLean and Jessopp soon retired leaving Cowton, Thompson and Jeremy to dispute the race win.

As always, the lead changed hands regularly with lap three alone seeing Jeremy lead at Station, Cowton at Mathers Cross and Thompson at Magherabuoy! Just over a second covered the three riders going into the final lap and it looked like Thompson and the Paton had timed their run to perfection.

However, going into the final Juniper chicane, Cowton seized his opportunity which led to Thompson running onto the grass and as they powered up the hill towards the finish line, Jeremy rode round the outside of Thompson to take second place and his eighth NW200 podium.

Unfortunately, second team member Derek McGee’s run of bad luck continued and despite the bike being repaired after Thursday’s problem with the head gasket, the Mullingar rider was again forced to retire on the opening lap.

Jeremy McWilliams: “That was some craic and although I can’t be disappointed with another second place, I did think I could have won as the pace was definitely there. Ryan’s built a superb bike, as fast as anything else out there, and he made a right call on the gearing which definitely helped. The only area I was struggling a wee bit was on the brakes and I couldn’t get the bike stopped and turned as I would have liked but it was great fun and I'm delighted to have taken second place and another NW200 podium.”

Ryan Farquhar, Team Owner: “I’m over the moon with Jeremy’s second place finish and whilst he’s slightly disappointed not to have won, he’s done another great job for the team and a podium at the North West 200 is always worth celebrating. It was another fantastic ride on a bike that hadn’t turned a wheel before Thursday and the whole team and sponsors are delighted.”

“I’m obviously gutted for Derek again as he was flying in qualifying, one of the fastest men on track and there’s no doubt in my mind that he would have been disputing the win had he been out on track. We fixed the head gasket but another problem occurred so we’ll get a good look at the bike before the TT to ensure he has everything he needs for the island. We’re only a small team operating on a tight budget so I’m very thankful for all the support from our loyal sponsors for making it all possible.”