Tuesday, March 5, 2024
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Back to the Future 2 with Oxford Team Ducati

Oxford Products and Celeres Racing have, for the second year running, teamed up to campaign their Ducati 888 in the Superbike F1 Classic TT, to be held on the Isle of Man, 24-27 August.

Once again, TT star James Hillier will be riding the Celeres Racing Ducati 888 hoping for success this time. The campaign continues the celebration of 25 years since Trevor Nation, Robert Dunlop and Mark Farmer rode the Oxford Products liveried Ducatis, back in 1992/93.

This year, Hillier will be joined by relative newcomer and devout Yorkshireman, Joey Thompson. Thompson comes to the Classic for the first time, competing in only his second year on the roads. Riding the Paton in the Lightweight TT this year, he achieved a very creditable 5th place so is confident of a good placing at the Classic. ‘I have been riding bikes since I was 4 years old starting competing in motocross and then riding at BSB in the support classes for the last 7 years. I have really clicked with competing on the roads and I am so proud that I have been given this opportunity to ride the Oxford Team Ducati.’

Hillier will once again run race number 5 with Thompson using 20.

Both Ducati 888 machines were built by Stafford Evans of Celeres Racing. The first bike competed in the 2016 Superbike F1 Classic TT race. Wearing Ducati red, the bike was ridden to 11th place by Dave Hewson, with a best lap of 115.769mph. Last year James Hillier rode it in Oxford colours and after a 122mph lap in practice, he was confident of something special, only to be side-lined by an errant stone on the second lap of the race.

Team owner Stafford Evans was optimistic for a good result this year. ‘It’s a real honour to once again represent the Oxford brand at the Classic TT. We didn’t have the best of luck last year but we have doubled our efforts in 2018 to get a podium result, which is very achievable. Giving Joey an opportunity is very exciting – he’s a real star of the future and at only 20 years old, has a great future in front of him.’

Hillier is no stranger to the TT course, having visited the rostrum several times. These include a Lightweight TT win in 2013 and a 2nd place in the F1 Classic TT in 2014 plus two 3rd places in this year’s Superbike and SuperSport TTs. Joey’s credentials include his 5th place in the Lightweight TT as mentioned, and the 2017 International Lightweight Championship (250) held at Oliver’s Mount.


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