Fresh from yesterday’s success at the second round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, defending champions VisionTrack Ducati were celebrating again at Snetterton today with Josh Brookes taking victory in the first race of the day and yesterday’s race winner Christian Iddon adding another podium with third in the final race of the weekend.
Brookes took his 50th career victory in the opening race of the day with a flawless display on the factory-supported VisionTrack Ducati Panigale V4 R after taking the lead from Glenn Irwin on the third of the 16 laps.
The Australian was under pressure throughout with Irwin, Tommy Bridewell and Lee Jackson close behind as less than a second covered the leading quartet. Team-mate Iddon was just adrift in fifth although the fastest lap of the race saw him close back up in the closing stages.
Brookes never let Irwin get close enough to try an overtaking attempt and he duly took the chequered flag for his first win of the 2020 season with Iddon having to settle for fifth after a slight mistake on the 14th lap foiled his podium bid.
Both riders were on the front row of the grid for the final race of the weekend and Iddon made the most of his pole position to lead for the first three laps with Brookes slotting into second. Less than a second covered the leading six riders though and it was clear both riders were set for a busy race.
That’s exactly how it panned out with positions changing hands frequently and although Honda’s Glenn Irwin made a break in the final third of the race, eventually taking the win, both Christian and Josh were well in contention for the final podium places. The final lap proved to be their undoing as Iddon lost out on second place at the final corner to Tommy Bridewell and Brookes slipping back to fifth on the run in to the chequered flag.
The results from the three races mean Irwin still leads the championship on 118 points but Christian and Josh are now up into third and fourth respectively on 86 and 82 points going into the next round at Silverstone in two weeks’ time.
Christian Iddon: “The first race today was frustrating as I just couldn’t close the gap to the frontgroup. The pace was the quickest it had been all weekend and I was struggling a bit with the bike as I was quick in some corners but slow in others and I was especially losing time through the mid-speed corners. The team had to change the engine between races, and they did a great job and I knew I had to make the most of my pole position. I didn’t have the pace to stay with Glenn and then Tommy mugged me on the final corner but with a first and a third, my first ever BSB win and a watch for pole position, it’s been a good weekend.”
Josh Brookes: “We’ve been through a lot of changes over the weekend; what an emotional roller coaster. In race one today, my settings were closer to where they should be, but not perfect. I was obviously happy to win which was a positive, but the last race was very frustrating, and my position was less than satisfying. The bike didn’t seem to work as well so I’m just disappointed and frustrated as I wasn’t able to control the race. We still have to work and make improvements but to take a second and first place is a strange feeling to be disappointed with. We will come back stronger.”
Johnny Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator: “Two wins and two podiums from a possible six results is very satisfying but we still need to strive for more. Now both riders have now got those first wins, we can definitely build on that and the plan is to carry that momentum into Silverstone. We need to work on why both Josh and Christian could only manage a pair of fifth place finishes each as well today, especially after yesterday’s 1-2, which we will do but to improve their championship positions is positive and we look forward to the next round.”
Bennetts British Superbike Championship round five (16 laps)
1 Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati)
2 Glenn Irwin (Honda)
3 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)
4 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)
5 Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati)
6 Kyle Ryde (Suzuki)
Bennetts British Superbike Championship round six (16 laps)
1 Glenn Irwin (Honda)
2 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)
3 Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati)
4 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)
5 Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati)
6 Tarran Mackenzie (Yamaha)
Championship Standings (after six rounds)
1 Glenn Irwin 118pts
2 Bridewell 95
3 Iddon 86
4 Brookes 82
5 O’Halloran 65
6 Andrew Irwin 58
Images courtesy of Double Red Photographic: Josh Brookes (25) and Christian Iddon (21).