26th Jun, 2019

Finocchiaro takes championship lead following Donington victory

Liam Moakes 4th Jun, 2019

TRYSTAN Finocchiaro clinched two podiums, a win, an award and the championship lead at round two of the British Junior Supersport Championship class at Donington Park.

Starting from fourth on the grid for a wet race one, Finocchiaro of Redditch quickly made his way up to second by the end of the first lap and the 20-year-old then took the lead in the opening stages of the race.

Following a near-crash moment on the exit of the McLean’s bend, Finocchiaro dropped back to second place behind old Aprilia Superteen rival Edmund Best.

“I knew Ed was going to be fast in the wet,” Finocchiaro explained. “I looked at my pit-board and we had a three-second lead over third so my plan was just to follow and pass on the last lap for the win.”

As the race went on Finocchiaro rehearsed overtakes for the lead in preparation for a last lap battle.

“I was stronger on the exit of Coppice on to the back straight, so I knew if I had enough of a gap going on to the back straight he wouldn’t be close enough to pass me back.”

A last lap overtake at the beginning of the Donington Park National course at the infamous Craner Curves let Finocchiaro do exactly that – building a substantial lead before the final chicane.

“I broke a bit later that lap, waiting for a last lap lunge from Ed, but the plan worked and he wasn’t close enough to overtake, so we took the win,” added Finocchiaro.

Finocchiaro was also awarded the Squib Burton Trophy by the Donington Park Racing Associaton Club for an excellent performance.

The award has been handed out every year since 1931 to race winners in the British Superbike championship, with names like Ron Haslam and Steve Hislop having been awarded the trophy in the past.

Race two brought an enthralling five-rider battle for the win throughout the race, which Finocchiaro started well as he swapped and changed positions for the lead.

However, as the race went on, Finocchiaro began to suffer on down shifting gears.

“I’m not sure what was going on but for some reason the gears weren’t selecting when I was going down the box, which in such a close battle made overtaking very difficult,” added the Redditch rider.

Finocchiaro decided to watch the battle from the back of the group as he sat in fifth place in the closing stages of the race.

“I knew I was still strong on corner exit, so if I was going to overtake it had to be on exit. Heading into the last corner I was fifth, but nailed the exit and clinched third place.”

Despite his gear selection issues, Finocchiaro still secured a podium place with a nail-biting photo finish, missing out on second place by only 0.019 of a second.

Finocchiaro concluded: “It was a crazy weekend, we came away with two very good results, scoring more points than anyone else and coming away with the championship lead.”

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