Redding rules with Donington Park double to head the Showdown to Brands Hatch
Scott Redding maintained his winning momentum in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown by claiming a double victory at Donington Park, holding off his title rivals Josh Brookes and Tommy Bridewell to continue leading the charge for the title ahead of the Brands Hatch finale.
At the start of the opening race Brookes had launched off the line to lead the pack into Redgate for the first time ahead of Redding and Christian Iddon, with Bradley Ray and Tommy Bridewell in close contention.
Brookes was heading the pack for Be Wiser Ducati until the third lap when Iddon went for a decisive move with the pair touching at Starkeys Bridge. The move unsettled Brookes and dropped him back to fourth and into the clutches of Peter Hickman.
Redding then had the advantage from Bridewell and Iddon, and started edging out a gap to try and break the pack. The championship leader had been able to set a consistent pace to break Bridewell, but at mid-race distance the rain flags were shown and the Oxford Racing Ducati rider pushed to bridge the gap.
Redding though was able to keep his cool to give him the edge at the chequered flag, but behind him the battle for third had turned into a three-way fight between Iddon, Brookes and Hickman.
Iddon was holding the position for Tyco BMW, but as he exited Goddards he lost a footpeg and then had to try to deliver a damage limitation performance which saw him end the race in sixth place as Brookes took advantage of the situation.
Brookes held off Hickman for third with Andrew Irwin fighting his way through from 14th on the grid to claim fifth place for Honda Racing, pushing Iddon back with two laps to go as he continued to try and fight on.
Xavi Forés was seventh ahead of Ryan Vickers, who scored another top 10 finish for RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki following a fierce battle with Luke Mossey and Danny Buchan who grabbed tenth place ahead of Jason O’Halloran and Tarran Mackenzie.
In race two Brookes was determined to come out and try to take the fight to his teammate. At the start of the race, the Australian got a flying start off the line to lead into Redgate for the first time ahead of Iddon and Redding, with the second placed Tyco BMW rider trying to dive for the lead at Craner Curves before the 2015 champion instantly cut back into the lead.
As Redding moved into second a lap later to force ahead of Iddon, further down the field Billy McConnell crashed out unhurt at the Esses, leaving gravel across the circuit. The BMW Safety Car deployed and as the pack lined up Brookes had the advantage from Redding, Bridewell, Peter Hickman, Iddon and Buchan as the Showdown Title Fighters were locked together.
On the restart though Redding had initially dropped back from Brookes to try and force more heat into the tyres and it worked; Brookes ran wide into Redgate and Redding had the opportunity he needed to make a pass for the lead.
Redding then pushed to bridge a gap but the advantage kept changing, later the championship leader admitted he was suffering with a gearing issue that was causing him to be less consistent with his lap times. Brookes had been reeling him in over the closing stages but it wasn’t enough to make a move on his teammate and he was forced to settle for second place ahead of Bridewell.
Buchan had maintained his fourth place after a tough opening race at Donington Park to fire the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki ahead of Iddon on the Tyco BMW and Bradley Ray, who overcame the disappointment of a technical retirement in race one to hold off a hard-charging Irwin for sixth place.
Irwin had been also battling with his Honda Racing teammate Forés, who had to settle for eighth place with the McAMS Yamaha pairing of Tarran Mackenzie and O’Halloran completing the top 10.
It was a disastrous race for Hickman who had been battling for the fourth place when he lost the chain for the Smiths Racing BMW, ending his race prematurely.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Race 1 result:
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati)
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) +2.094s
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) +5.101s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +7.895s
- Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) +12.973s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +15.249s
- Xavi Forés (Honda Racing) +17.671s
- Ryan Vickers (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki) +18.215s
- Luke Mossey (OMG Racing Suzuki) +18.780s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +19.001s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Race 2 result:
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati)
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.513s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) +5.316s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +9.420s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +11.916s
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +12.014s
- Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) +12.560s
- Xavi Forés (Honda Racing) +12.736s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +14.603s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +15.302s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings:
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) 645
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) 617
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) 580
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) 559
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 538
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 530
For more information on the Bennetts British Superbike Championship visit www.britishsuperbike.com
Scott Redding – Be Wiser Ducati
Double race winner – Donington Park
“At the start of the first race, I felt comfortable but not that great. I felt like maybe the track was a bit greasy, but I could probably manage it a bit better due to the pace that I had yesterday in qualifying.
“I felt quite comfortable at that and I saw the gap getting big and I thought ‘yeah that’s good, I can manage it, see what the other guys are doing’. I could see coming out of the Melbourne Loop where the guys were and I felt settled and I thought ‘just keep ticking the laps off’.
“And then the rain came and I thought I don’t like to be the leader to test it out; I’m the first one through and if he [Bridewell] sees that I go down he knows to slow up a lot, if I don’t he’s going to keep pushing and that’s probably why the gap closed up quite a lot.
“And I thought I maybe took a bit too much risk, and then I pushed again and two laps later set the fastest lap of the race so I knew I had a bit more in the pocket.
“Race two? I’m not the sharpest knife in the box, but sometimes I have some good ideas that sometimes work and that for me was trying to keep temperature in my tyres during the safety car, which is something I struggle with, so I made a big effort and thought what can I do to help.
“So I kind-of backed up, I left many seconds between myself and Josh then I pushed through some corners to make temperature and it worked. Turn one Josh struggled, turn one I was pretty good and I was able to make a gap and push, that was my strategy. That’s was what I needed to do, it was a weak point for me and I tried to solve it and I believe I did the best that I could do in that moment.
“The race was pretty good for me, I had a small problem with the gear shifter and I missed many gears, probably that was why the gap was going up and down. Josh was breathing down my neck, it was 1.2s and he was always there, the gap wasn’t going further.
“I thought he’s there, then I had these gear shifter problems and the gap went down and then it went up again. I could open it a bit, and then it went again, so my target was to just try and bring the bike home but I still had the pace to make the win and I just held everything together at the end. But fair play to Josh, he did push me a lot more in race two, and we’ll have to see what happens when we get to Brands.”