Scott Redding kicked off his first Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown in style at Assen today (Sunday), celebrating a stunning double victory to fire himself to the top of the standings ahead of his Be Wiser Ducati teammate Josh Brookes with the next round of the Showdown at Donington Park (October 4/5/6).
At the start of the opening race Redding hit the front of the pack ahead of Luke Stapleford, Tommy Bridewell in third and Brookes, but the Oxford Racing Ducati rider was determined to move into second, which he did by the end of the opening lap.
However, a lap later Ryan Vickers crashed out heavily which meant the BMW Safety Car deployed at the start of the fourth lap. The pack formed up behind with Redding, Bridewell, Stapleford and Brookes first in line when the race resumed on lap six.
Bridewell was pushing hard to take on Redding but on the ninth lap he reached the limit and he crashed out at turn nine, with Christian Iddon also falling at the same corner, both riders were unhurt.
Redding then was breaking the pack at the front of the field but Brookes was embroiled in a huge battle for second with Showdown spoilers Stapleford and Jason O’Halloran who had hunted down the pair ahead of him.
By lap 14 the scrap had really intensified with Stapleford making a move on Brookes, only for the Australian to strike straight back to regain the position for Be Wiser Ducati. As the laps counted down the trio in the battle for second were inseparable and on the penultimate lap Stapleford had the edge over Brookes and O’Halloran.
Brookes still had more fight left though and on the final lap he dived back into second place and as Stapleford drifted slightly wide, O’Halloran saw his opportunity and he was into third for McAMS Yamaha.
As Redding took the flag to claim his eighth win of the season ahead of Brookes, O’Halloran became the 12 different podium finisher of the season ahead of Stapleford, who scored his best result of the season for Buildbase Suzuki.
Xavi Forés was fifth for Honda Racing ahead of Showdown contenders Danny Buchan, Tarran Mackenzie and Peter Hickman who completed the top eight ahead of Bradley Ray and Hector Barbera.
At the start of race two Stapleford had launched his Buildbase Suzuki off the line to lead the pack into turn one ahead of Redding, Bridewell and Brookes. The 2015 champion was instantly on the attack though and he moved into third after making a move on the Oxford Racing Ducati ahead of him.
The pack were inseparable but a mistake from Stapleford exiting the final chicane on the third lap scattered the pack and it gave Bridewell the opportunity he needed to move into second with Brookes and Redding then hunting him down.
A lap later and a determined Brookes had captured the lead with Stapleford separating the Be Wiser Ducati teammates with O’Halloran and Buchan also in close contention.
By lap seven Redding had made a decisive move into second and he then had Brookes in his sights before taking the lead a lap later with a dive down the inside. From there Redding tried to make a break, but he was hounded by Brookes initially.
Bridewell had his sights set on a podium to make amends for his crash in the opening race and by lap ten he had moved into third, to push Stapleford back down into fourth on the Buildbase Suzuki.
Redding then edged out his advantage, but the battle for second was becoming increasingly fierce; Brookes was holding off Bridewell, Buchan and Stapleford but with two laps remaining the Australian was under attack.
On lap 17 Bridewell moved into second and that pushed Brookes slightly off line, which gave Buchan the chance he needed to force through into third for FS-3 Racing Kawasaki. Despite his best counterattack, Brookes couldn’t regain the positions and he missed out on the podium by 0.311s, leaving Assen 14 points adrift of Redding in the standings.
Bridewell and Buchan scored their first podium finishes of the Showdown in the second race with Stapleford again just missing out after his best weekend of the season so far in fifth.
Honda Racing’s Forés led the next pack home to the chequered flag to hold off race one podium finisher O’Halloran and Showdown contender Hickman in eighth. Dan Linfoot and Bradley Ray completed the top ten with Mackenzie ending a tough weekend in 13th.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Assen, Race 1 result:
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati)
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) +4.977s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +5.254s
- Luke Stapleford (Buildbase Suzuki) +5.293s
- Xavi Forés (Honda Racing) +7.434s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +7.505s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +8.017s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +9.204s
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +12.896s
- Hector Barbera (Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +14.984s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Assen, Race 2 result:
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati)
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) +3.385s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +3.518s
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) +3.829s
- Luke Stapleford (Buildbase Suzuki) +7.772s
- Xavi Forés (Honda Racing) +10.523s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +11.406s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +13.452s
- Dan Linfoot (Santander Salt TAG Yamaha) +14.441s
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +14.591s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Assen:
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) 595
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) 581
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) 544
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) 540
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 527
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 517
For more information on the Bennetts British Superbike Championship visit www.britishsuperbike.com
Scott Redding – Be Wiser Ducati
Double race winner
“Doing the double here is great, I did live in Holland for a year and a half, so I have a lot of friends and people I class as family, so it’s like another home race for me.
“There was a lot of pressure for me to win by a comfortable gap and I put my head down in both races. I did the best job I could all weekend.
“It’s not about winning by miles, it’s about doing a clever race and I’m still learning so much about these bikes and these tyres. I need to do this one step at a time and race by race.
“In race two when Luke Stapleford [Stapleford] came past, he was holding me up but he was also un-passable because he was squeezing on the gas, so I had to sit there and wait a bit hoping not to get too beaten up from guys behind!
“When I felt it was my time to go, I just picked the guys off and just got my head down and got that little bit more and that little bit more. I felt more conformance at the front and happy to come away with two victories at Assen.
“I can look forward now to Donington Park because that was a good circuit earlier in the year for me so I have good memories there.”
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