The final round of the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike Championship heads for the famous Brands Hatch circuit in Kent this weekend with VisionTrack Ducati riders Josh Brookes and Christian Iddon first and second in the standings.
Australian Brookes holds a 16-point advantage over his Tyneside-based teammate going into the final three races knowing two wins would give him his second title to add to the one he won in 2015. Iddon, meanwhile, will be out to stop him as he searches for his inaugural title aboard the factory supported VisionTrack Ducati Panigale V4 R.
Brookes has won three races out of the 15 so far with Iddon claiming his career-first BSB win this season also. Both riders have scored five additional podium places each to put themselves in the driving seat going into the season finale.
Last year, Brookes won all five races held around the Grand Prix track, including a treble at the corresponding meeting last October and when added to his record of winning eight of the last 11 races there, the warning signs are ominous. Iddon, however, just missed the podium last year with a pair of fourth place finishes despite still recovering from a broken leg earlier in the season.
If either Brookes or Iddon manages to land the crown, it would be another successful title defence for team boss Paul Bird whose Penrith-based squad took last year’s crown with Scott Redding whilst Brookes claimed runner-up spot. PBM have won an amazing seven BSB titles so far (2002/2003/2012/2014/2016/2017 and 2019) with riders Steve Hislop and Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne as well as Redding.
Josh Brookes: “Strangely enough, having the points lead has taken away a lot of the pressure and I feel quite comfortable going into Brands Hatch. I feel relaxed, which is good and obviously it’s clear I have a very good record around the GP track, so I want that to carry on. I always look forward to racing there and this time is no different. The weather forecast is looking good and I’m sure there will be some great racing but I’m ready for this challenge.”
Christian Iddon: “Going into the final round, there are five riders who can lift the crown and I have a huge amount of respect for them all. It’s going to be tough but I’m in a strong position and it’s possible to reduce the 16-point gap to Josh. He’ll be strong for sure, but I love the place and I’m on the same bike as him, but we’ll take each race as it comes. I’ve worked to get into this position all my career so I’ll continue giving it my all as I always do and whatever will be will be.”
Datatag Extreme Qualifying starts on Saturday (17th October) at 13:15 followed by the first race of the weekend at 16:15 (16 laps). Sunday (18th October) sees the second race get underway at 12:45 (20 laps) and final race at 16.00 (20 laps). Live television coverage of qualifying and all races is available on Eurosport. Live commentary from BSB Radio can be found via the Live Timing features at www.britishsuberbike.com and www.tsl-timing.com also.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings (after 15 rounds)
1 Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) 225 points
2 Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) 209
3 Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) 208
4 Jason O’Halloran (Yamaha) 207
5 Tarran Mackenzie (Yamaha) 163
6 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati) 146
Images courtesy of Double Red Photographic: Josh Brookes (25) and Christian Iddon (21).