Castlerock’s Marty Nutt enjoyed a good weekend of racing at Knockhill, scene of the third round of the 2014 Ducati TriOptions Cup.
The Ducati Coventry/JHP Racing/Nutttravel.com rider was able to claim a brace of third place finishes, his first podiums of the year, to move up to third overall in the Championship table.
Having qualified in second place, Saturday’s 15-lap race got underway with rain threatening but, fortunately, it held off and after the perfect start, Marty completed the opening lap in the lead. On the second lap, polesitter and circuit specialist Dennis Hobbs edged ahead with Championship leader Leon Morris pushing Marty back to third three laps later. There was only 1.5s covering the top six at half race distance and although Rob Guiver pushed Marty back another spot, he retaliated immediately and promptly pulled away to claim third place and his first podium of the year.
Starting from fourth on the grid for the second race, two of Marty’s main rivals, Guiver and Sean Neary, were forced to miss the race, and he was eager to take advantage and move further up the Championship table. A solid start saw him maintain his start position and although the front three riders, Hobbs, Morris and Paul McClung, opened up a substantial gap, he was secure in fourth and when local star McClung crashed out spectacularly on the tenth lap, Marty was promoted into third and here he stayed for the closing stages to secure his second successive podium finish.
Marty Nutt said: “I’m still experiencing a few rear slides throughout the race, which I’m not quite sure what’s causing them, but they’re just enough to make me sit up and lose a bit of momentum and drive out of the corners. I tried something different in warm-up but that made it worse so I went back to my qualifying settings for the first race and although they were still happening, I could control them without having to close the throttle too much. Rob came by me but I managed to get by him almost straightaway and by focusing on Leon, I was able to pull away and keep third.
“I knew the second race would follow a similar pattern as the front four of us had a bit more pace than the others and with McClung not being a Championship contender, I had a good guess he’d be pushing hard. I was almost expecting him to come off so when he did it put me up to third and I brought the bike home for another good podium. It’s a shame Leon has had such a strong start to the season as he’s already got a healthy lead but we’ll keep plugging away and this weekend’s been very positive. The aim was to get on the podium, which I’ve achieved, and the races come thick and fast now so the season’s really up and running.”
The next round of the series takes place at Brands Hatch in three week’s time on July 18-20.