There was drama in the opening Ducati Cup at Donington Park this afternoon after the championship leader Rob Guiver (Premier Security / Ducati Romford Racing) crashed out unhurt of Race 1 after battling with Josh Day (HOST-IT.co.uk Racing Team) for the lead. But on the consecutive lap, Art of Racing's Lee Devenport had a nasty highside, bringing out the red flag with the race required to be re-run over a 5-lap dash.
As the riders set off for the restart, it was Day who led from pole and looked like he would capitalise the most with Guiver's absence.
But Sean Neary (SMC Racing) was on a charge and able to make several passes before hunting Day down and taking the lead on the last lap corner - his first win of the 2019 season. Phil Atkinson, now with the Art of Racing team, took the final podium spot to claim his best finish of the season to date.
Sean Neary (SMC Racing #10) - 1st
“I am absolutely made up with that win, it’s been a long time coming, being the nearly man all the time. I really wanted that, but made hard work for myself in the first race and went back to about seventh, picked my way through and thought I had really good pace, then the red flag went out, obviously I was glad the guys that went down were OK but I was disappointed because I thought I could have done better. Luckily we got the restart. Again not the best of starts but we got stuck in and really dug in because I really wanted that win. The team, SMC, K-Tech, Lee Jackson for helping me getting the suspension how I wanted it, really grateful for them for sticking by me.”
Josh Day (HOST-IT.co.uk Racing Team #2) - 2nd
"The first part of that race, I was leading it when it got red-flagged and Guiver went down. I thought that was it to be honest. I thought I had won it. So, when they said 5 laps, and my starts aren't the greatest, I thought, here we go. But I managed to pull a gap on them. I read my pit board probably a bit wrong or these guys were on it a bit more than me. Another 2nd place, 20 points. That gives us the lead in the championship. Hopefully tomorrow try and relax a bit more because I was proper tense on the bike. Don't know why, Donington is never kind to me. But well done to Sean and Phil, good to see them back on the podium. Roll on tomorrow.”
Phil Atkinson (Art of Racing #4) - 3rd
“First time with the new team this weekend. First time I rode the bike was FP1 so very happy with how it's gone. In the 2nd race if we had a few more laps helpfully we could have got the win. We were closing Josh down. Unfortunately, Sean got him on the last corner, there wasn't enough room for all of us. First trophy for the team and very happy with how it's gone and hopefully now we can be on the podium a little bit more.”