MARTY Nutt ensured he ended his 2012 racing season on a high with a superb podium finish at the final round of the Ducati 848 Challenge.
Competing at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire, the Castlerock rider was in superb form and finished third in Saturday’s first race before following this up with a close fourth in Sunday’s second encounter.
Having qualified in a strong fourth place, Marty was in confident mood going into Saturday’s eight-lap race but, still getting to grips with the clutch on the machine, ninth on the first lap meant there was work to be done.
However, it only took him a couple of laps to start moving through a six-man group battling it out for third and on lap three, Marty took control of the final podium position.
Despite coming under extreme pressure from 2010 Champion Darren Fry for the remainder of the race, Marty was able to successfully keep him at bay to claim a superb third place.
It was a similar story in Sunday’s race, although this time there was even more work to be done, the offending clutch leaving him down in 14th after the opening lap.
Once again though, he carved his way through the field and was up sixth at half race distance, consistently lapping quicker than the riders in front of him.
Part of a five rider dice for the final podium sport, a brave final corner overtaking attempt around the outside of Ed Smith looked like it would give Marty his second rostrum finish of the weekend but he ended up 0.108s short and so had to settle fo fourth place.
A delighted Marty said; “To end the year with a podium feels really good especially as there was a time earlier in the year when I didn’t think I’d be riding again, let alone finish in the top three!
“We’ve still been having issues with the clutch though and it makes life difficult - all the good work from qualifying counts for little. Completing the first lap such a long way back creates a lot of hard work for myself but I kept going and just kept picking them off so to stand on the podium felt very sweet.”
“Sunday’s race start was even worse but we know what we need to do to cure the clutch problems so we’ll make sure the winter months are wisely spent and we come out fighting at the opening round next year.
“I’ve really enjoyed the final three rounds and have just eased myself back into my racing so to finish all six races inside the top ten and grab a podium is very satisfying. I know there’s a lot more to come and I’m already looking forward to 2013 so a big thank you again to all my sponsors for making it all possible.”