Double podium sees Nutt keep lead

Marty Nutt continues to lead the Ducati Tri-Options 848 Challenge.'Picture by Glynne Lewis
Marty Nutt continues to lead the Ducati Tri-Options 848 Challenge.'Picture by Glynne Lewis

A brace of podiums at Assen over the weekend saw Castlerock’s Marty Nutt maintain his Championship lead in the 2013 Ducati Tri-Options 848 Challenge and, with just one round remaining, he now leads season-long rival Jonathan Railton by 12 points.

Having qualified in an excellent pole position around the Dutch venue, the Ducati Coventry/JHP/nutttravel.com rider opened his account with a close third place in Saturday’s 12-lap race having battled throughout with Mike Edwards, Leon Morris and Ben Field.

Sunday’s second, shorter eight-lap encounter was an even closer affair with the leading six riders running nose to tail for almost the entire race distance. It went right down to the last corner but Marty secured third place at the chicane to maintain his 100% record of finishing on the podium in every race and edge ever closer to securing the title. It’s still close though and his lead over Railton is just 12 points going into the final round at Silverstone in two weeks time.

Speaking afterwards, Marty said: “It hasn’t been too bad a weekend I guess but both races were extremely tricky as it would have been so easy to have made a mistake. Normally, they’re the kind of battles you’d love to get really stuck into but I was quite cautious as I wanted to stay out of trouble and bag some solid points.

“Towards the end of Saturday’s race, I could see from my pitboard that Jonathan was only one place behind so had decided that I needed to make a move on Ben as a two-point gain wasn’t that great.

“As it turned out, he made a mistake, gifting me third, and sitting with a 21-point lead on Saturday evening felt pretty good.

“There were even more riders in the mix in Sunday’s race, so much so that everyone was tripping themselves up.

“I could carry a lot more corner speed but was having to run wide at some of the corners to avoid hitting the back of someone so it was a bit frustrating and that’s why I was up and down a bit.

“With Jonathan hitting the front though I knew I needed to do something to get on the podium so instead of third gear, I used second at the final chicane and I was able to get by Leon.

“A 12-point lead means it’s going to be both nerve-wracking and exciting at the final round but it feels great going into the two races knowing I’ll be fighting it out for the Championship.”