Gino Rea celebrated his first podium finish in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship in style at Donington Park today, mastering the tricky conditions to claim his debut victory for the Buildbase Suzuki team as several of the Title Fighters crashed out of the action.
At the start, Rea launched off the pole position to hit the front of the field heading into Redgate for the first time. The Buildbase Suzuki contender was ahead of Danny Buchan and Glenn Irwin, but as the pack reached Goddards, Buchan had edged the SYNETIQ BMW ahead to take the lead.
Buchan held the advantage for two laps before running wide on the exit of Redgate on the third lap, handing the lead back to Rea, who then continued to post a sequence of rapid times to break the pack and build an advantage at the front. Rea controlled the race to become the eighth different race winner of the season.
Peter Hickman was the first of the Title Fighters to tumble out of contention at Starkeys on lap three, with Glenn Irwin crashing out a few corners later on the brakes into the Fogarty Esses. Buchan also slid out of the race on lap four.
As Rea had a comfortable time advantage, behind Josh Brookes had moved into second on the VisionTrack Ducati with Tommy Bridewell and Lee Jackson in the closing pack. However the reigning champion couldn’t save an off track moment, and he tipped off on the grass at Schwantz Curve on the fifth lap.
Title Fighter Tommy Bridewell was another rider to end his race prematurely and just a few corners later than rival Brookes, he crashed into Coppice.
That elevated Storm Stacey into second position on the LKQ Euro Car Parts Kawasaki; however, he too crashed out on the ninth lap at Redgate, meaning the podium line up changed again as Lee Jackson moved into second with Christian Iddon and Kyle Ryde next in the chasing pack.
The trio took the fight for the podium down to the wire on the final lap, with Ryde emerging ahead to claim second and become the 13th different rider to have scored a podium finish in 2021, with Iddon salvaging a strong third after his sixth row start.
Jackson equalled his best result of the season in fourth place just ahead of McAMS Yamaha’s Jason O’Halloran, the Australian now sits level on points with teammate Tarran Mackenzie ahead of tomorrow’s two races.
Joe Francis made an impressive debut with the FHO Racing BMW team to score a sixth place finish with Ryan Vickers, Bradley Ray and Rory Skinner completing the top ten despite a back of the grid start after falling on the sighting lap.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, BikeSocial Race 1:
- Gino Rea (Buildbase Suzuki)
- Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +2.016s
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +3.405s
- Lee Jackson (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +3.518s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +44.703s
- Joe Francis (FHO Racing BMW) +52.859s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +57.782s
- Ryan Vickers (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki) +1m:02.000s
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +1m:06.234s
- Rory Skinner (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +1m:12.423s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Donington Park Race 1:
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 1102
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 1102
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 1084
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) 1076
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) 1050
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) 1042
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) 1041
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) 1029
Gino Rea – Buildbase Suzuki
BikeSocial Race 1 winner
“It feels incredible, it feels like a weight’s been lifted off my shoulders. I think the result has been coming, especially over the last few rounds where we’ve made little steps with the bike that have made a big difference on track and with my feeling and with my confidence.
“I’m also really pleased the changes have worked in the wet because we have had some wet sessions this year where I’ve not had the right feeling, and I have a history of being good in the wet. And now I feel that has come back.
“Full credit to the Buildbase Suzuki team; yesterday I was sat in the gravel after a 100mph crash and they’ve rebuilt the bike and gave me the perfect package for today. Thank you to them for the faith they’ve put in me.”
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