Ducati Manchester and ducati Coventry go head to head
Robbie Brown shared the race wins with a resurgent Darren Fry at Round Two as the Ducati 848 Challenge visited the Assen TT circuit, the first of its two overseas rounds this year.Championship leader Brown (Ducati Manchester) was on imperious form all weekend, but Fry (Hirebase/JHP Racing), still not back to full fitness following an illness that left him in doubt about riding this year, put in a performance that was reminiscent of the form that took him to the Challenge title in 2010.With a win and a second place this weekend Brown extended his lead at the top of the table, but in also picking up a win and second Fry is back in the game in second with six rounds still to go. Sam Coventry (Moto Rapido), new to the Challenge this season and quickly getting back up to speed racing a twin after his year away in Spanish CEV championship, bagged third in both races to leapfrog to third in the championship.A number of other riders were able to put in solid performances over the two dry race days to do themselves no harm in the championship; in particular Jack Keen (Team Havoc Racing) with a fourth and fifth, and another championship newcomer Sean Neary (MotoCorse UK Racing) who scored a seventh and sixth.Race 1 was something of a dramatic affair with a number of fallers on the first lap, including front-runners Mike Edwards (OHLINS@P&H Motorcycles), Mark Cheetham (Hunt Pie Machines) and James Folkard (Win43.com) who came together at the first left-hander while battling for second place behind Brown. That left Coventry and Fry a clear track to chase down Brown, with Keen and Ed Smith (Ultim8 Racing) pushing hard through the field to close the gap. Brown maintained his lead throughout the 10-lap race to take the chequered flag by 7 seconds, while behind him Fry moved into second on lap 7 beating Coventry into third.Getting a storming start, Fry was right on Brown's back wheel throughout a pulsating Race 2 that saw fantastic starts also for Cheetham and Dijon Compton (BuyMobiles.net/Boast Plumbing) who made up eight places on the first lap. While the front two riders pushed each other all the way, Keen steadily made his way through the pack along with Aaron Brown (Team Penso Ducati) who put his high speed crash in race 1 well behind him to do battle with Ricky Holden (Holden Racing) and Woolsey Coulter (Quelch Racing). Leaving his best until last, Fry eventually passed Brown as they started their last lap and then put in the fastest lap of the day to claim the chequered flag with Coventry sealing a great third place.Robbie Brown, winner of Race 1"Race 1 played out in our favour, but it was still tough to keep concentration being so far ahead to take the win. For Race 2 I expected to have Darren on my back wheel, but then I started to get severe armpump. By the last lap I had nothing more to give, but either way it would have been difficult to beat Darren with his amazing time. That was a good weekend for us overall."Darren Fry, winner of Race 2" That has to be one of the best and most enjoyable races I've had! Robbie rode a mega race and we were inches apart for all ten laps. When I managed to pass him on the last lap I knew I had to do a flyer, and to do a 1.44 and break the 848 Challenge lap record has really made up for the last few months of not even knowing if I would be riding this season."The teams and riders now only have a short break before heading for Round 3 at Snetterton 300 over the weekend of 25/26/27 May.
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