The VisionTrack Ducati team scored a trio of top six finishes at Snetterton in Norfolk today with round seven of the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship seeing reigning champion Josh Brookes take fourth and sixth place to keep his Showdown hopes alive and Christian Iddon getting back on track with a strong fifth place to claim his place as a Title Fighter.
With the duo having had mixed fortunes yesterday, this was reflected in their grid positions for the opening 16-lap race, Brookes starting from second and in the middle of the front row for his best grid position of the season but Iddon back on the sixth row after his first lap crash.
With good conditions around the Snetterton 300 circuit, Aussie Brookes consolidated his second place on the factory-supported Ducati Panigale V4RR for the first couple of laps with Iddon moving up to 12th, but Brookes then ran wide on a number of occasions which dropped him back down the order to eighth.
It was a frenetic race for all concerned but by lap ten, Josh was back up to fifth and a good overtaking manoeuvre on Gino Rea on lap 14 enabled him to take his second fourth place finish of the weekend. Meanwhile, Tyneside-based Iddon fought his way up to tenth only for a slight coming together with Danny Buchan towards the end of the race dropped him back a place to 11th.
The final race of the weekend saw Brookes start from fifth and Iddon 11th, but the race was stopped on the ninth lap following a crash. Re-started over just five laps, it was a hectic race, but it was Iddon who came out on top for Paul Bird’s Penrith-based team with a strong fifth place. Bedfordshire-based Brookes had a bit more of difficult race but after dropping back to tenth, he fought his way back up to sixth at the chequered flag.
Iddon remains in fourth place overall claiming his place in the Showdown with Brookes now up to tenth and just 13 points behind eighth place with the final four Showdown position still to be decided at the next round at Silverstone.
Josh Brookes: “It’s been a hectic weekend and I seem to be around all the on-track drama that’s happening at the moment. All the moments and crashes other riders are having seem to be happening all around me, so I’d like to be away from all that at the next round. Looking at the positives, I’ve been able to fight a lot more this weekend and am more at ease with the bike which is translating into good race pace so two fourths and a sixth is another step in the right direction. We had the potential to do better this weekend, but the results at least mean I’ve put myself in with a shout of the Showdown and having been in it every year, it would be nice to do so again.”
Christian Iddon: “I was a bit disappointed with 11th in the first race but, at the same time, I needed a finish after therun we’ve been on. I felt pretty racy up until about mid-race and I lost a bit of front end feel in the latter stages whilst the harder tyre didn’t quite work as I’d hoped. I switched to the softer tyre for the second race and refined both the electronics and chassis and that enabled me to be more aggressive in the first few laps. After the red flag, it was a five-lap dash which is always a bit hairy but the little changes we’d made helped the bike be better again and although a podium may have been possible, it wasn’t to be, and we took the fifth. It’s obviously not where I want to be finishing or need to be, but we’ll take what we can, and it’s stopped the rot a little bit, so we’ll build on this.”
Johnny Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator: “We showed a lot of potential in practice and felt that it was going to be one of our stronger meetings, but it wasn’t to be, and we don’t seem to be getting the rub of the green at the moment. We keep getting caught up in other people’s incidents in areas where we shouldn’t be and there’s been so many instances of ‘wrong place, wrong time’. Both riders got beat up in both races but on the plus side, Josh closed the gap to the top eight and made good strides forward whilst the fifth place in the second race will be good for Christian’s confidence. The Yamahas are performing really well at the moment and are having a year like we did in 2019 but we need to up our game and stop their dominance so hopefully, things will turn our way next time out.”
The next round takes place at Silverstone next weekend.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship race two (16 laps)
1 Jason O’Halloran (Yamaha)
2 Tarran Mackenzie (Yamaha)
3 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)
4 Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati)
5 Gino Rea (Suzuki)
6 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)
11 Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati)
Bennetts British Superbike Championship race three (5 laps)
1 Tarran Mackenzie (Yamaha)
2 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)
3 Jason O’Halloran (Yamaha)
4 Gino Rea (Suzuki)
5 Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati)
6 Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati)
Championship standings (after seven rounds)
1 O’Halloran 399pts
2 Mackenzie 293
3 Bridewell 261
4 Iddon 239
5 Hickman 224
6 Buchan 174
10 Brookes 141
Pictures courtesy of Double Red: Christian Iddon (21) and Josh Brookes (25).