The RidersMotorcycles.com Ducati team enjoyed a strong weekend at Thruxton with Martin Jessopp celebrating his best-ever MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship weekend with sixth and fifth places finishes.
Jessopp's lap time in race one put him in pole position for the second race and he made the most of the opportunity, battling for third place with Honda riders Stuart Easton and Ryuichi Kiyonari before finishing fifth – his career best finish in the series.
“My bike was really stable in the fast stuff on the back of the circuit,” he said, “but those Hondas are so fast up the straights. I was really strong in the fast left out the back but Stuart got wise and realised where I had the advantage and started blocking me and that's when Kiyo got by.
“I'm over the moon with my results though. It would have been nice to have done the next bit and finished on the podium but I've got to be happy. This is promising for Oulton. I love that place. The bike will work well there and the Hondas won't have the long fast sections of track to stretch their legs like they've been able to do here.”
Team-mate Michael Rutter meanwhile picked up a fifth place finish in race one and followed it up with seventh in race two.
“In the first race I got a bad start, pushed too hard and ended up losing grip too early in the race so I wasn't able to go with the leading four in the closing stages,” he said. “I got a bit mugged early in the second race and couldn't get with Kagayama and then Easton came by me. I should have gone with him but I was losing grip but it's probably my fault.
“I'm still riding the Ducati with too much lean angle. I need to adapt to a style like Martin's and sit it up earlier out of corners to get better drive. It's coming though and I think Oulton in two weeks time is really going to suit our bike.”
Jessopp and Rutter sit seventh and eighth following the second meeting of the season.