Scott Redding became the 50th different Bennetts British Superbike Championship race winner at Donington Park this afternoon as he celebrated his first victory in the series following an incredible four-way battle in the opening race of the triple-header weekend.
At the start of the race, Oulton Park double winner Josh Brookes launched off the front row to lead the pack into Redgate ahead of Jason O’Halloran, Tarran Mackenzie and Redding. However Tommy Bridewell was instantly on the attack and by lap two he was tucked in behind Mackenzie, and a lap later was into second with a big move on O’Halloran.
Brookes was trying to bridge a gap but Bridewell was in close contention, with the McAMS Yamaha duo of O’Halloran and Mackenzie locked in formation behind. The Oxford Racing Ducati hit the lead at Redgate on the start of the fifth lap as Mackenzie moved into second, the pair pushing Brookes into third.
The 2015 champion was pushing to regain the position when he suffered a huge high-side on the exit of Roberts on lap six which threw him out of the seat of his Be Wiser Ducati. The Australian was able to walk away from the crash despite his heavy tumble.
At the front, the two joint championship leaders were trading blows with Bridewell and Mackenzie switching positions for the lead with nearly every lap, but the pair’s initial advantage was closing and Redding was determined to score an emotional victory in the opening race.
Redding was bringing Xavi Forés with him too and the final six laps became a four-way tussle at the front of the field. On lap 22 the former MotoGP contender went for a move on the pair and by the start of the next lap the Be Wiser Ducati was at the front, holding on to the advantage until the chequered flag.
Bridewell was coming under pressure and, with four laps to go, Mackenzie had moved into second and then the Oxford Racing Ducati rider had Forés in close contention too. The Honda Racing rider struck on the penultimate lap to move into third and claim his first victory in the series to become the seventh different podium finisher of the season so far.
O’Halloran ended the race in fifth place following an intense scrap with Bennetts BSB debutant Hector Barbera in sixth, with Christian Iddon moving up eleven places from his starting grid position to finish in seventh for Tyco BMW, narrowly ahead of Keith Farmer who bounced back from his free practice three crash.
Glenn Irwin and Peter Hickman completed the top ten finishers ahead of races two and three tomorrow.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Race 1 result:
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati)
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +0.824s
- Xavi Forés (Honda Racing) +1.666s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) +1.868s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +2.147s
- Hector Barbera (Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +4.088s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +7.401s
- Keith Farmer (Tyco BMW) +10.391s
- Glenn Irwin (Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +11.284s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +12.669s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Donington Park race one:
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 84
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) 77
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) 65
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) 58
- Josh Elliott (OMG Racing Suzuki) 52
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) 50
For more information on the Bennetts British Superbike Championship visit www.britishsuperbike.com
Scott Redding – Be Wiser Ducati
Race 1 winner
“It feels great first of all. I voiced it before the weekend that if I’m going to do it I need to do it here, so put a bit of pressure on myself really, but when you know you’ve got a good feeling with the bike and the team, you know a little bit of the track.
“I just messed up the start big time again. From second on the grid, the guys either side of me just went and I thought ‘come on Scott, get your head down’ and I got back, Fores came past. I didn’t really expect that, and I thought ‘woah what’s going on? How many people are behind, how many are going to go?’.
“I was making mistakes with the rear tyre and I couldn’t really settle into my pace for a long time. And then one moment kind-of clicked, I smoothened out, and I could just kind-of catch the guys, little bit, little bit. I saw them overtake and I was like ‘yeah keep going, keep going, you’re helping me, you’re helping me’. And I got stuck in there and we had a good little battle for a couple of laps, trying to overtake going three abreast into the last chicane, and I love that sort of race., Everything was very clean, everyone respected each other, that was really good.
“I thought ‘right I need to try and get out of this because it isn’t going to end well with three of us on the last lap’ and I didn’t know that Xavi was even just on the back of us so I managed to get a little gap and maintain it, and the win just felt phenomenal for me out there. It’s been coming and waiting for a long time and now I’ve got it, it feels a lot of weight off my shoulder and I feel much better and I think we can get many more.”
Xavi Fores – Honda Racing
First Bennetts BSB podium finish
“Obviously I enjoyed the race. All weekend has been quite good with my race pace, not so much with the fastest lap but I was very good with my pace. I did a really good start, I was able to put my bike into the top six on the first corner and so I was able to keep the pace with the front riders.
“I did a good first lap but after many laps Scott overtook me again and I was trying to push with him to catch Tarran and Tommy but I was struggling a little bit. In the end of the race I felt quite fast, it was like I saved a bit more of the tyres until the end and I was quite strong in the last couple of laps, but I made some mistakes on the last chicane and was not able to overtake Tarran.
“It’s like a victory for me because after the races at Oulton Park, coming here and jumping on the podium is like a victory for us, for the team.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow starting from the first row, maybe it’s a little bit easier to stay in the front during the race and trying to manage the situation again to thanks so much to Honda and all the people who believe in me.”