It was a symmetrical weekend for the Ducati Panigale in both Superbike and Superstock 1000 classes, as John Hopkins and James Egan secured ninth on the grid and finished sixth in their respective races.
The impressive Egan got faster and faster over the three days, securing ninth on the huge Superstock grid with his best ever lap of the Grand Prix track at Brands Hatch for MWR Motorsports.
The South African racer moved up a couple of places in the early laps of the Superstock showdown today (19 July) and soon found himself embroiled in a titanic battle for fifth that ran right to end of the contest.
With yellow flags at the final corner, James had to ease off despite being in a position to pass, drawing alongside the Kawasaki of Alex Olsen across the timing line to register just 0.022s behind in sixth.
Following two back-to-back previous best finishes of eighth at the last two events, this sixth place shows yet more progress for the young rider in his first season on a Ducati. With the championship heading to Thruxton, a track which has seen success for the bike in the past, both rider and team are champing at the bit to get racing again.
James Egan said: “I’m really pleased with the result – we’ve really got to try and push for a top five now – it was so close and a real photo finish! It was a proper scrap from start to finish which is always so exciting. Our lap times weren’t quite as quick but that’s because we were swapping positions and banging fairings so much! In the closing laps it was like skating on ice – fortunately the tyre wear is pretty good on the Ducati, but of course all the top guys in this class have got their bikes dialled in and it’s never easy to pass. My bike has unique strength, we’ve got great punch off the turns and it’s now becoming more natural for me to use that punch to my advantage. I’m feeling at home, and it was good to have a proper scrap and have fun out there.”