MORRIS WRAPS UP RAPID SOLICITORS DUCATI 848 CHALLENGE SEASON IN COMMANDING STYLE
Leon Morris, (JHP/Buildbase Ducati) newly crowned 2011 Rapid Solicitors Ducati 848 Challenge Champion, produced another masterly display to take a win and second place in the final round at Silverstone.Race 1: Race 1 produced another memorable 848 Challenge race, with Mike Edwards (MSKworks.com) in determined mood to record his first race victory of the season. But Kenny Gilbertson (AOR/Boast Plumbing), Leon Morris, and Robbie Brown (Ducati Manchester) were to push him all the way, with the front four riders each having held the lead by the half way point. Further back Mark Cheetham (Shorrocks Motorcycles) was trading places with ex-Champion Darren Fry (JHP/Buildbase Ducati) with Aaron Brown (Ladybirds Ducati) and Ricky Holden (Holden Racing) less that a second apart. But with a win needed to close the gap on Edwards and the coveted runners-up spot, Brown took to the lead on lap five and held on to take the race win despite the last lap battle taking place behind him with first Gilbertson trading places with Edwards and then Morris moving through to take second place ahead of Gilbertson into Brooklands. The 25 point haul took Brown to within 10 points of Edwards and so setting things up for the last race of the season.Race 2: With little choice but to go for the race win and hope Edwards didn’t make the top 3, Brown went all out in Race 2 but it was Morris who led the race for all but the briefest moment on lap three. With Brown, Edwards, and Gilbertson trading places numerous times each lap, Morris was to open up a gap and close out his successful season with his ninth win of the season. Pushing hard for the double, Brown got caught out by a high-side, crashing on the last lap, allowing Gilbertson through to taken second and Edwards third, the race red flagged because of the need to attend to the injured Brown. Topping out a poignant weekend with his highest placing of the season, Jamie Poole (Moto Rapido) took fourth place on his ‘Red 4’ bike in memory of Jon Egging, the Red Arrows display pilot tragically killed in August, while Cheetham, Holden, and Clinton De Tarnowsky (Ohlins P&H Motorcycles) finished strongly.On the podium four times World Champion Carl Fogarty presented the trophies to the top 3 riders, and then went on to present the Championship trophies to Leon Morris (Champion) and Mike Edwards (Runner-up) while injured Robbie Brown’s team accepted his third place trophy on his behalf.Now concluded, the Rapid Solicitors Ducati 848 Challenge returns for the 2012 season with British Superbikes and already interest in the series is high with new riders looking to join the Challenge and push for honours.
Race 1 Result: 1. R Brown, 2. Morris, 3. Gilbertson, 4. Edwards, 5. Fry, 6. Cheetham, 7. Poole, 8. A Brown, 9. Holden, 10. Connolly, 11. Jordan, 12. Poyser, 13. De Tarnowsky, 14. Keen, 15. Hasler, 16. Child, 17. Pearce, 18. Howard, DNF: CopeRace 2 Result: 1. Morris, 2. Gilbertson, 3. Edwards, 4. Poole, 5. Cheetham, 6. A Brown, 7. Holden, 8. De Tarnowsky, 9. Jordan, 10. Fry, 11. Poyser, 12. Connolly, 13. Keen, 14. Hasler, 15. Child, 16. Howard, DNF: R Brown, PearceChampionship standings (Top 10): 1. Morris (338pts), 2. Edwards (266), 3. R Brown (240), Gilbertson (226), Fry (196), Poole (125), A Brown (115), Holden (100), Cheetham (79), Connolly (76)