The Ducati Panigale 1199 R today (16 June) took its first ever win in the British National Superstock 1000 series, as Tristan Palmer made the perfect debut for the Rapido Sport Ducati Racing team. After signing a deal to ride the Italian machinery just a few weeks ago, Tristan was immediately on the pace for the Knockhill round of the championship.
The team completed a test around the Scottish circuit a couple of weeks ago, which was the first time Palmer had ever ridden a Ducati on the track. Immediately both Tristan and the team knew that they would have a good chance of a strong result around the short, technical lap, not least because Palmer has a proven record around it – taking the race win and setting the Superstock 1000 lap record in 2011.
From the very start of the weekend he was on course to fight for the win, setting the fastest times in his free practice sessions and putting the bike on pole position for the race. The rider from Tamworth got a good start in sunny conditions at Knockhill, and pulled an impressive gap of almost two seconds in the early laps showing how strong the outright pace of the 1199 Panigale is.
A huge moment for Palmer on lap 13 brought his rivals back into contention, but the 31 year old managed to hold off the chasing pack maintaining a half-second gap until lap 18 when the red flag was thrown and the result declared.
Tristan sits 12th in the championship standings after competing in just one event, and will certainly be looking to challenge for more race wins as the season progresses.
Tristan Palmer said:
“It’s been a lovely day for it here at Knockhill. We’ve been fast all weekend and the bike has been working perfectly – the Rapido Sport Racing team have been fantastic and everything has gone really well. I tried to get away at the start and got a bit of a gap but made a few little mistakes as the grip was going away. The red flag meant it worked out quite easy in the end, but I feel a bit sorry for the guys behind because I think it would have been quite exciting at the end! Still it was great for the team and great for Ducati to get a win for the Panigale – it’s a strong bike there’s not doubt about it. We just need a bit more time to work on tyre life, but things are looking great for the rest of the year.”