The fight to become the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Champion intensified at the penultimate round of the season at Donington Park as the BeerMonster Ducati teammates clashed in the second race, both crashing out of the action. Tommy Bridewell regained the lead at the top of the standings at the end of the weekend, but there are still just 7.5 points separating the pair ahead of the Brands Hatch title decider (13/14/15 October).
In the second race of the weekend, there was a seven-way battle for the lead, but the rivalry between the BeerMonster teammates boiled over and ended with Bridewell colliding with Irwin into Melbourne and the pair both crashing out.
As the race continued, Kyle Ryde sought to take advantage and he did just that, winning the race for defending Champions LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha to continue to claw back the advantage in the standings. Despite a difficult race three for Ryde, finishing in twelfth place, he almost halved the advantage to Bridewell in the standings, with now just 35 points the deficit ahead of Brands Hatch.
Ryde’s fifth win came when the race was red flagged for rain on lap 17, but it was also more success for Leon Haslam and the ROKiT BMW Motorrad Team as he also capitalised on the BeerMonster Ducati riders’ non-points score.
However, it could have been more for Haslam as his weekend ended with heartache, he was holding another strong second position in the final race when a technical problem ended his charge spectacularly and caused a red flag.
The ‘Pocket Rocket’ has a 41-point deficit to Bridewell, but will arrive at the final round knowing that in 2017 his 32-point advantage in the standings ahead of the season finale was decimated, losing the title to Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne by six points.
The BeerMonster Ducati pairing couldn’t rebound in race three either as Irwin was instantly out of the race with a technical problem after the opening corner of the first lap and Bridewell struggled, dropping down the order to ninth.
As the leading title contenders had a disastrous Donington Park, Jason O’Halloran returned to winning ways in race three, whilst Oxford Products Racing Ducati’s Christian Iddon was the only rider to score a double podium in today’s two races. FHO Racing BMW Motorrad’s Josh Brookes also was back on the podium in race three to show his pace in wet conditions.
Three races now remain in the battle to become Bennetts British Superbike Champion at Brands Hatch, with a maximum of 105 points available at the final Showdown.
Eight riders remain within 105 points of Bridewell at the top of the standings, with Irwin still his closest rival. Ryde and Haslam lead the chasing pack, 35 points and a further six points respectively adrift, with Lee Jackson 2.5 points down on Haslam. Meanwhile O’Halloran, Brookes and Iddon remain in mathematical contention.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Race 2 result:
- Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha)
- Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) +0.224s
- Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +1.489s
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) +1.755s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +2.138s
- Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +3.791s
- Charlie Nesbitt (MasterMac Honda by Hawk Racing) +6.387s
- Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +6.678s
- Max Cook (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) +9.655s
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +10.938s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Race 3 result:
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha)
- Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +6.936s
- Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +10.884s
- Charlie Nesbitt (MasterMac Honda by Hawk Racing) +13.561s
- Jack Kennedy (Mar-Train Racing Yamaha) +16.183s
- Storm Stacey (Starline Racing Kawasaki) +16.414s
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +16.797s
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) +17.368s
- Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati) +17.862s
- Davey Todd (Milwaukee BMW Motorrad) +19.937s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings:
- Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati) 368
- Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati) 360.5
- Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) 333
- Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) 327
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) 324.5
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 317.5
- Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad Team) 292
- Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 264
“I’m sore after today’s crash and worn out emotionally after the weekend. Without doubt it’s been a tough day and a rollercoaster of a meeting. I apologised to Glenn and his team as it was obviously disappointing for both of us.
“I felt so strong on the bike and to come from last on the grid to lead after eight laps is almost unheard of in BSB so it’s a real shame it happened.
“In the final race, I had a few visibility issues, but I came here half a point behind in the championship standings and I’m leaving 7.5pts in the lead so I’m feeling positive going into the final round at Brands Hatch.”
For more info check out our dedicated British Superbikes News page