Josh Brookes delivered an inch-perfect performance in the opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race in the triple-header decider at Brands Hatch to reduce his Be Wiser Ducati teammate Scott Redding’s advantage to 19 points ahead of tomorrow’s season finale.
At the start of the race Brookes had taken the lead into Paddock Hill Bend ahead of Danny Buchan and Christian Iddon with Redding sucked into the pack and holding eleventh position on the opening lap.
On the second lap Luke Mossey had a crash on the exit of Surtees from seventh place and the pack had to take evasive action. At the front Iddon had made a move to push Buchan behind him to move into second, but then Bridewell was on the attack and he was soon into second place behind his Be Wiser Ducati title rival.
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By lap six Buchan was under pressure from Jason O’Halloran, who made a move into Paddock Hill Bend, before the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki rider then reclaimed the fourth place at Surtees.
However the race was red flagged when James Ellison, Joe Francis and Ryan Vickers crashed out at Surtees leaving an oil slick that the Racesafe marshals had to clear before the race was restarted.
On the 12-lap restart Brookes again hit the front of the pack ahead of Iddon and Bridewell, but the Oxford Racing Ducati rider was soon into second to shuffle the order instantly. As Brookes and Bridewell bid for a breakaway, Redding was holding eighth place but he was soon carving his way through the order. He was up to sixth at mid-distance but ahead of him Buchan had moved into fourth and was fighting with Iddon.
The gap was constantly changing at the front as Bridewell kept pushing to reel in Brookes, but the 2015 champion had the measure of his rival to hold the lead until the chequered flag.
Redding though was on a mission; he was determined to end the race with a podium finish and he stormed ahead of Buchan and Iddon with four laps to go before edging a slight advantage after a tough day for the championship leader.
Iddon equalled his season best result of fourth place ahead of Buchan on the final lap with O’Halloran holding off Peter Hickman for sixth place. The Honda Racing pairing of Xavi Forés and Andrew Irwin held eighth and ninth respectively and Taylor Mackenzie completed the top ten.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race 1 result:
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati)
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) +2.256s
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) +8.435s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +9.213s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +9.582s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +11.023s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +11.958s
- Xavi Forés (Honda Racing) +15.964s
- Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) +16.194s
- Taylor Mackenzie (Tyco BMW) +16.305s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Brands Hatch Race 1:
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) 661
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) 642
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) 600
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) 570
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 543
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 539