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R&G Ducati Shield: Round 1 - Silverstone

Words: Tony Jacklin

The R&G Ducati Shield is more popular than ever this year, with 26 of the 38 Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup series entrants opting in. There will be a new champion crowned this season as usual as former winners are no longer eligible and can only comptet in the main Ducati Cup Champsionship. Existing Shield riders have been joined by a host of new riders for the '22 season, all with various levels of experience.

Race One
The first race of the season started in exciting fashion with series debutant Mark Bridger (Moto46) taking the lead, running a very creditable fourth in the main race until a crash at Becketts on lap three ended his race.

The lead was then taken by Matt Jones (Dragon Racing) who maintained his lead to the finish after a great battle which saw him claim his first podium finish in the main race.

Over seven seconds adrift in second place came Andre Compton with another new name to the series, Paul Gallington (TRU7 Racing) a further 0.4 seconds behind in third.

Fourth place went to Glenn Walsh (Walters Nedical/GE Racing) with Joe Duggan (Surefit Carpets Racing) and Ewan Potter (AH Performance) finishing 5th and 6th respectively.

Race Two
After a chaotic first part of Race Two which resulted in a red flag due to track contamination, the race was restarted and held over six laps, which would result in a hectic dash to the line.

Jones managed to get back for the restart and took the lead from lap one but was quickly passed on lap two by Compton and Mark Bridger (Moto46) but Compton was out by the next lap.

This left Bridger clear to take the R&G Ducati Shield win and also third in the main race, an amazing achievement for his debut in the Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup series. Second place finisher was Matt Jones 0.5 seconds adrift of Bridger.

Paul Gallington (TRU7 Racing) took third place again with series regular Matt Stevens (Tech5 Racing) in fourth place. Ewan Potter (AH Performance) came home fifth with Matt Bainbridge (Marvel HCL Motorsport) rounding out the top six.

One rider who deserves a mention is series regular, Andy Booth (Thompson Haulage/CRT Race Team). He is now in his sixth season in the Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup series and he finally scored two championship points in the R&G Ducati Shield, plus his highest ever finish in the main race coming home in 19th place.

We now have to wait until May 20th for the next round at Donington Park.

R&G Ducati Shield Championship Points
1. Matt Jones 45
2. Paul Gallington 32
3. Matt Stevens 21
4. Ewan Potter 21
5. Andre Compton 20
6. Matt Bainbridge 17