Three different Donington Park race winners as Brands Hatch title decider beckons
Three different riders and three different teams celebrated victory at Donington Park in the penultimate event in the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike Championship battle, with five riders mathematically in with a fight for the title at the Brands Hatch season finale (October 16/17/18).
Josh Brookes leads the standings by 16-points ahead of the triple-header decider at Brands Hatch, but despite being crowned the Monster Energy King of Donington today (Sunday), the Australian claimed one race victory with growing competition from his opposition.
In the opening race of the weekend, Andrew Irwin returned to the form that saw him claim a double victory at the circuit’s season opener, and the Honda Racing rider delivered a perfect race to score his first podium since the last visit to Donington Park.
Andrew Irwin’s victory was all the more important for Honda Racing after championship leader Glenn Irwin crashed out unhurt on the opening lap, and then had to regroup and rebound strongly in the next two rounds to avoid losing ground before the season finale.
The VisionTrack Ducati teammates completed the podium line up in the opening race, with Christian Iddon holding off Brookes to have another strong podium-finishing performance ahead of Tarran Mackenzie and Ryan Vickers, who celebrated his best finish for RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki.
It wasn’t to be another Donington Park double for Andrew Irwin though; when he crashed out with Ryan Vickers on the opening lap of the second race. At the front, Kyle Ryde had initially held the advantage, but a technical problem forced him out of the action.
Brookes had gathered pace and the VisionTrack Ducati rider edged out a lead, however it did begin to get closed down by O’Halloran in the closing stages but not enough to deny him the victory.
The McAMS Yamaha team celebrated a double podium finish in the second race as Mackenzie snatched third place from Gino Rea, who was another rider to claim his best result of the season today at Donington Park.
The final race of the weekend began with Brookes getting the jump off the line, but the VisionTrack Ducati rider had to settle for third place after Mackenzie stole the show in the closing laps, making McAMS Yamaha the third different winning team of the day.
Mackenzie had been able to hold off the challenges from Glenn Irwin, who had an impressive performance to end his weekend with a podium finish, and the Honda Racing rider now holds third place in the standings and an 18-point deficit to Brookes.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Round 13 result:
- Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing)
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +1.824s
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) +2.508s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +8.048s
- Ryan Vickers (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki) +10.776s
- Gino Rea (Buildbase Suzuki) +12.297s
- Jack Kennedy (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki) +12.387s
- Kyle Ryde (Buildbase Suzuki) +13.841s
- Danny Buchan (Rapid Fulfillment FS-3 Kawasaki) +17.938s
- Lee Jackson (Rapid Fulfillment FS-3 Kawasaki) +25.058s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Round 14 result:
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati)
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +0.578s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +1.805s
- Gino Rea (Buildbase Suzuki) +3.123s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +4.419s
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +4.908s
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) +7.734s
- Jack Kennedy (RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki) +8.307s
- Luke Mossey (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +11.511s
- Joe Francis (Lloyd & Bowker BMW Motorrad) +12.165s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Round 15 result:
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha)
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) +1.223s
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) +3.951s
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +6.742s
- Gino Rea (Buildbase Suzuki) +7.441s
- Lee Jackson (Rapid Fulfillment FS-3 Kawasaki) +7.685s
- Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) +8.090s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +9.274s
- Luke Mossey (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +10.383s
- Joe Francis (Lloyd & Bowker BMW Motorrad) +10.860s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Round 15:
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) 225
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) 209
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) 207
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 206
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 179
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 146
- Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) 139
- Lee Jackson (Rapid Fulfillment FS-3 Kawasaki) 131
- Kyle Ryde (Buildbase Suzuki) 130
- Danny Buchan (Rapid Fulfillment FS-3 Kawasaki) 101
For more information on the Bennetts British Superbike Championship visit www.britishsuperbike.com
Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing)
Bennetts BSB Round 13 race winner
“This weekend has been a little up and down, but we won another race again – it was something I needed to lift my spirits. In the second race unfortunately I got hit on the first lap and took out. It’s one of those things, I have been on both ends of it before, it’s racing and we will just move on from it.
“In race three it took me far too long to get going, I got a good start but kind of got beat up in the first turn, which upset my rhythm a bit. It then took me about four or five laps to get into it again but once I did we had quite good pace.
“I feel we should have been fighting for the podium, but we didn’t and I came seventh. However the Fireblade felt good and I’ve built some confidence going into Brands, I think we can do a good job, I’m looking forward it.”
Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati)
Bennetts BSB Round 14 race winner
“I am kind of winning after today, even if it was a third place in the final race, as I am leading the championship and that is a nice way to leave Donington Park.
“The final race was tough, I was trying to control the race and I was pushing to try and get a gap, but it just stayed the same. I started to drop off from Taz and Glenn Irwin and then had a couple of moments with the front end.
“I didn’t give up on having another chance but in my mind I knew it was an important race to finish and that I couldn’t have any DNFs so they rode well and deserve their places. I have to be happy with that and to go into the final round with a lead is a great improvement on previous years so we need to work hard and what will be, will be.”
Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha)
Bennetts BSB Round 14 race winner
“The first race was really nice today, coming through from 19th. It was a calculated gamble to go with the harder wet tyre as I knew the track would dry out and that would leave me with some tyre at the end of the race. The aim was to get a good lap for race two, which I did.
“I did not expect to get third in race two, I went in having only done five dry laps all weekend, so we bolted in the setting from Silverstone and I had the first few laps of the race to adapt to it! It was a tough race, I got knocked back to seventh or eighth and had to come back through so to get third I was really happy.
“I knew if I could get a better start in the last race I could maybe have something to show at the end, and that was the case. I didn’t get a good start but I made my way back through, when I got to Glenn I was quite comfortable sat behind him so I knew I could maybe put some time into him if I got past in the last few laps, which I did so I was really happy with that. I’ve always wanted to win in the superbike class so it was an epic feeling.
“It’s been a good day for the whole team, so we’re looking forward to getting to Brands Hatch in a couple of weeks.”
More, from a press release issued by Honda Racing UK:
Double wins for Honda Racing at Donington Park
It has been an action-packed day for the Honda Racing team at Donington Park for the penultimate round of the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike Championship, after heavy rain yesterday saw the opening BSB and Superstock 1000 races postponed until today. With five races in a day across both championships, the Honda team leaves the Leicestershire circuit having scored a further two wins and two podiums with the all-new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP, and title hopes still firmly in reach.
In the opening Superbike race of the day Andrew Irwin made it four BSB wins for the new Fireblade this season and claimed his third victory of the year, after a dominating race. After a difficult few rounds Andrew’s confidence has returned and it was clear to see today as he took to the top step of the podium once again. Unfortunately in the second race of the day after starting from third place, his race ended on the first lap at the Melbourne Hairpin through no fault of his own. In the final race, after dropping back to 11th, he made his way through the pack to finish seventh.
The result of the first race was bittersweet for the Honda team, as title contender and teammate Glenn Irwin crashed out in the early stages having been caught out by the tricky conditions. With a DNF in the first race the championship was again all to play for and coming into the second race Glenn had his work cut out.
Finishing seventh in the second race, Glenn was sitting fourth in the standings, 22 points behind, so a good points haul in the final outing was crucial. With a fantastic start off the line he was fourth at the end of the first lap. Keeping his head down he was up to second in no time and on the tenth lap made a fantastic move on championship leader Josh Brookes for the lead. However, Tarran Mackenzie was also after the win, and snatching the lead, Glenn was pushed back to second place where he eventually took the chequered flag. Glenn is now third in the overall standings, with an 18-point deficit going into the final round in a few weeks’ time.
Meanwhile for the Superstock 1000 team Tom Neave was celebrating after he clawed back vital points to also keep his title hopes alive, where he’s now just ten points shy of the championship lead. Finishing the first race third, Tom showed the full potential of the new Fireblade in the second race, holding off a chasing Danny Kent to take his fourth victory of the season.
Teammate Davey Todd was caught out with the mixed conditions in the first race and with the track drying each lap, his full-wet set-up meant he suffered at the end of the race where he crossed the line 10th. In the second race a brake issue saw any progress hampered to finish 14th.
The Honda Racing team now head to Brands Hatch for the season finale on 16-18 October, where the Bennetts British Superbike Championship is all to play for with mathematically five potential riders who could become the 2020 champion.
#18 Andrew Irwin
This weekend has been a little up and down, but we won another race and it was something I needed to lift my spirits. In the second race unfortunately I got hit on the first lap and took out. It’s one of those things, I have been on both ends of it before, it’s racing and we will just move on from it. In race three it took me far too long to get going, I got a good start but kind of got beat up in the first turn, which upset my rhythm a bit. It then took me about four or five laps to get into it again but once I did we had quite good pace, we should have been fighting for the podium I feel but we didn’t and I came seventh. However the Fireblade felt good and I’ve built some confidence going into Brands, I think we can do a good job and I’m looking forward it.
#2 Glenn Irwin
If you summarise this weekend from a points view it was really disappointing because we have come away 18 points behind after starting the weekend in front, so to gain back some points in the last race was so important. In the final race I knew immediately from the warm-up lap that the Fireblade was working well, so hats off to the team, they deserved this second place position backing up Andy’s win. Again it’s an all-new Fireblade and over three races this weekend we have grabbed a first and a second place finish, Tom has also done a mega job again in Superstock. So looking ahead, it’s a big ask at Brands, I would rather be the one with the target on my back because if nothing changes you are the champion, but we won’t give up. The team never give up and neither will I.
#68 Tom Neave
I don’t know where to start really! It’s so good to be back in the hunt again, this weekend I was up against it and I knew all I could do was my best, try and stay out in front and beat Chrissy in every race, which is what I have done. We have clawed the championship back to ten points so anything can happen at Brands Hatch and you never know what the weather is going to throw at you in the middle of October! I have just got to keep playing my cards right and doing everything I can. I have ten days to prepare, tick all the boxes, get plenty of training in, ready to go to Brands with a fresh open mind and do the same again.
#74 Davey Todd
It’s been a crazy weekend for us, it was the first time with the new Fireblade in wet conditions, which was difficult for us all and learning curve for sure. In FP2 I ended up throwing it down the road where we could have got some wet time under our belts, but I knew I’d be strong in the wet which showed in warm-up on Saturday, where we finished second. We made a few changes to the bike ahead of the first race, where we had some mixed conditions, which threw us a little bit as we were fully set for wet conditions so struggled towards the end of the race. I felt like I had the pace in race two, the bike felt good, but I suffered a bit with a brake issue and dropped down the order towards the end. It was a bit of a disappointing weekend, but we’ll move on to Brands and see if we can finish the season on a good note.
Team Manager Havier Beltran
It’s been a weekend full of emotions with Glenn crashing out in race one, finishing second in the final race, Andrew back on the top step and Tom claiming another podium and a race win! We’re back in the fight for both the British Superbike and Superstock 1000 championships, so really heading to Brands Hatch it’s all to play for. I’m really pleased with the progress we’ve made this weekend, the guys have once again shown the potential of the all-new Fireblade and it was great to see Andrew back up there. We have some work to do ahead of the final round, but it’s not over just yet for us.
More, from a press release issued by VisionTrack Ducati:
Donington Success Sees Brookes And Iddon Head Title Race
Defending champions VisionTrack Ducati faced some contrasting conditions for rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Donington Park today but riders Josh Brookes and Christian Iddon excelled to emerge first and second in the title race going into the final round.
With torrential rain wiping out most of yesterday’s proceedings, organisers re-arranged the schedule so that for the first time in series history, three races would take place today with grid positions determined by free practice times from Friday which put Brookes on pole for the first 15-lap race and Iddon on row two.
It was still cool and damp for the opening race but both of Penrith-based Paul Bird’s riders made good starts and were immediately running inside the top four on the factory-supported VisionTrack Ducati Panigale V4 Rs with Iddon up to second and Brookes fourth initially. A drying track eventually saw Iddon consolidate second place with his Australian teammate elevating himself onto the podium also in third.
The result meant Tyneside-based Iddon held a slender championship lead going into race two where by now, the sun was shining with a completely dry track all around the 2.5-mile GP circuit. 2015 champion Brookes soon worked his way to the front, taking the lead for the first time on lap five from where he controlled proceedings to take his 52nd career BSB victory and with it, the lead of the 2020 series for the first time. Iddon couldn’t match his first race finish but battled to sixth to drop to second in the standings.
The final race of the weekend looked like it would serve up another race win for Brookes as he led for the first half of the race but in the end he had to settle for third with Iddon just missing the podium in fourth meaning Brookes enjoys a 16-point lead over his teammate going into the final three races of the season at Brands Hatch in a fortnight.
Josh Brookes: “The target is always to win a race at the slowest possible speed as the faster you go, the more you risk. In the second race, I had a couple of minor issues, so I tried to maintain my rhythm and the lead which I was able to do for the win. It was a lot trickier in the first race when I had to ride more conservatively due to the damp. The bike was moving around a lot, so it was all about consolidating the points. In the final race, I tried to keep the lead for as long as possible, but I didn’t have the pace to win so brought the bike home for some more good points. It’s been a strong weekend and great to lead the championship going into the final meeting at Brands Hatch.”
Christian Iddon: “The main focus was to leave Donington Park still with a good chance of the championship and I’ve managed that and got the boxes ticked. It was good to get on the podium in the first race in the damp conditions, but I struggled quite a lot in the second race with a couple of issues. We improved the bike for the final race but fourth was the best I could do although maybe I should have tried a different plan in hindsight. I’m just 16 points off the championship lead with all to play for at Brands Hatch, although we missed a couple of opportunities to close the gap today but either way, I’m looking forward to it.”
Johnny Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator: “First and second in the championship is all we could really ask for going into the final round of the season, so we are very much in the game. Both riders have been consistent this weekend and scored good points in very difficult conditions at times. We’ll now go back to the workshop and prepare for Brands Hatch in the hope that we can emulate our 1-2 finish in the series of last year which would be a remarkable achievement.”