• Josh Brookes wins Race 2
• Double VisionTrack Ducati podium in Race 1 with Josh Brookes and Christian Iddon 2nd and 3rd respectively
• Tommy Bridewell out of the title race after retiring from Race 3
Sunday’s opening British Superbike race at Donington Park proved to be a great one for the VisionTrack Ducati team, after both riders stepped on to the podium with Christian Iddon taking the Championship lead for the first time this season.
Saturday’s qualifying and race were cancelled due to poor weather conditions, with the grid for Sunday’s opening race formed using combined Free Practice times. Josh Brookes had topped both sessions so started from pole, with his VisionTrack Ducati teammate Christian Iddon lining up on the grid in 4th.
Iddon got the better start to move into 3rd as Brookes got swamped and demoted to 5th. Drama was to come later on the opening lap as the then current Championship and race leader Glenn Irwin crashed his Honda at Goddards.
Honda Racing’s Andy Irwin inherited the lead, with Iddon promoted to 2nd. On Lap 4 Brookes passed Danny Buchan to move up into 3rd behind his teammate. The two VisionTrack Ducati riders traded fastest laps and by two thirds race distance the three leaders had opened up a 6 second gap.
Andy Irwin had a 1 second lead as the riders started their 15th and final lap. Brookes was running close to Iddon but ultimately was unable to challenge him for 2nd. The two Ducati riders went on to claim a double podium for the VisionTrack Ducati team, with Iddon’s result seeing him take the championship lead for the first time this season.
Oxford Products Racing’s Tommy Bridwell started his race from 8th. A tyre gamble, where he opted for the harder rear option for the damp conditions, did not pay off and he finished his race in 15th position.
Starting from 6th on the grid Brookes was soon up into 4th place and on the move towards the front, going on to pass Buildbase Suzuki’s Gino Rea for 1st place on Lap 5. Brookes managed to maintain his lead for the rest of the race, taking the chequered flag and with it the championship lead.
Tommy Bridewell had a lot to do from 19th on the grid but made fantastic progress to put his tyre woes from Race 1 behind him, going on to claim a Top 5 finish, half a second ahead of VisionTrack Ducati’s Christian Iddon in 6th.
Brookes lines up for the day’s third and final race on the front row in 2nd, with Bridewell and Iddon starting from Row 2 in 4th and 5th respectively. Brookes got the holeshot to lead the pack around Donington. Tommy Bridewell slotted into 3rd, before going on to pass McAMS Yamaha’s Jason O’Halloran for 2nd place at Craner on his opening lap.
On Lap 7 Christian Iddon also passed O’Halloran, who had dropped down the pack, to move into 4th. But that same lap disaster struck for Bridewell, when a problem forced him to retire from the race whilst he was running in a podium position.
Brookes led until two/third race distance when he was passed Glenn Irwin and McAMS Yamaha’s Tarran Mackenzie on Lap 10. Mackenzie went on take the win, with Irwin 2nd and Brookes claiming the final podium position, 6.7s ahead of his VisionTrack Ducati teammate Iddon in 4th.
After finishing on the podium in all 3 races today, Josh Brookes was crowned ‘King of Donington’ and heads to the final British Superbike round at Brands Hatch next month leading the championship with a total of 225 points.
Iddon now lies 2nd in the championship with a total of 209 points. Sadly, for Tommy Bridewell, his Race 3 DNF meant he dropped to 6th in the championship with 146 points and is no longer in contention for the title.
Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati #25) – Race 1, 2nd – Race 2, 1st – Race 3, 3rd
“I wanted to keep the lead but both Glenn and Taz had a bit more pace. Lap times were slightly better than the previous race but not as fast as those guys. I wanted to try and keep staying with them, but I had a bit of a front-end moment. And I thought that this is an important race to stay on and finish. Obviously, I would have wanted to do better but still pleased to have come out with the championship lead and another 3rd place for the team, the sponsors, VisionTrack Ducati, they’ll all be pleased.
It’s nice to lead the championship going into the last round. I’ve often been going into Brands trailing and trying to win races to claw back. So, hopefully this is enough this year to just enjoy the wins and hopefully the championship.”
Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati #21) – Race 1, 3rd – Race 2, 6th – Race 3, 4th
“The main focus was to leave Donington Park still with a good chance of the championship and I’ve managed that and got the boxes ticked. It was good to get on the podium in the first race in the damp conditions, but I struggled quite a lot in the second race with a couple of issues. We improved the bike for the final race but 4th was the best I could do, although maybe I should have tried a different plan in hindsight. I’m just 16 points off the championship lead with all to play for at Brands Hatch, although we missed a couple of opportunities to close the gap today. But either way, I’m looking forward to it.”
Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing #46) – Race 1, 15th – Race 2, 5th – Race 3, DNF
“I am certainly looking at the weekend as pint half-full. It’s no secret this year that I’ve struggled to get the feeling with the bike that I have had previously and to be honest for me at Donington in Race 3 the bike was absolutely fantastic. So, so good. It was brilliant so I’m happy. Yes, I’m very disappointed that we suffered a technical, but you have to take the positives. We have been searching a fix for the problem we’ve had this year and I now feel that we have certainly made some very good inroads with that and have a very strong direction to how we can now improve and just keep going forward. I’m taking the positives from this weekend, for definite. It’s not all doom and gloom!”