Ex-MotoGP rider Scott Redding made an immediate impact at the opening round of the BennettsBritish Superbike Championship at a sun-soaked Silverstone today when the 26-year-old brought his Be Wiser Ducati home in a superb podium place in the opening race.
It was the highlight of a tough weekend for both Redding and team-mate Josh Brookes as the pair suffered mixed fortunes for the Penrith-based team with Redding crashing out of the second race and Aussie Brookes, the 2015 BSB champion, retiring from both races on his factory-backed Be Wiser Ducati Panigale V4 R.
In glorious conditions, both riders made strong starts to the first race of the season with Redding slotting into fourth place from the front row whilst Brookes had to make progress from his sixth-row start following a technical problem in qualifying. Redding was left to chase the leading trio but a last lap clash between Tarran Mackenzie and Jason O’Halloran left the latter on the floor leaving Redding to claim the final podium spot in third.
36-year-old Brookes meanwhile, made good progress and was up to eighth by two-thirds race distance and part of a three-rider group battling for sixth but on lap 23 his good ride ended when he coasted to a halt and was forced to retire due to an electrical problem.
Race two saw Redding start from the head of the second row in fourth with Brookes in tenth as a close battle ensured between the leading dozen riders with both Be Wiser Ducati riders well placed. However, it got too close on lap six, Redding was taken out by another rider and crashed out, luckily without serious injury.
That meant it was left to Brookes to try and salvage a result for the team on this occasion and by lap ten, he’d moved up into eighth place. He continued to move his way through the pack but having taken sixth place just before two-thirds race distance, his race came to an abrupt end shortly afterwards when he was forced out with a technical issue.
Scott Redding: “I was obviously happy to take the podium in the first race, but it wasn’t a deserved one as the three riders in front of me had more pace. To be honest, I didn’t expect the pace to be so quick at the beginning, but I hung in as best I could. It was disappointing to be taken down in race two and I’m very sore, but I should be OK for Oulton Park. Despite that, what a fantastic reception I got from the BSB race fans, it was quite emotional so thanks to them all for that. We now have a test at Oulton and need to work on a few issues and hopefully see some improved results at the next round.”
Josh Brookes: “There’s not a lot I can say about today other than it’s obviously disappointing tocome away with no points, but I wasn’t alone as Jason O’Halloran was another rider to have strong rides only to come away with two DNFs. That’s the nature of racing and you can have as many good weekends as bad ones so it’s a shame for the whole team that we didn’t finish either race. I think we showed the pace we have when everything’s going well, and we’re all motivated to do well as we know what potential we have but sometimes things happen that are out of our control. We’ve shown that we’re competitive against the other teams and know there’s plenty more to come so we’ll just forget about this weekend and look ahead to the next one.”
John Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator: “It’s hard to know what to say about today having suffered three DNFs and it certainly hasn’t been an ideal start to our season. Both riders struggled for rear grip, particularly through the last sector, but Scott rode in race one well and although he was gifted a podium, he rode intelligently and will have learned a lot. He learned more in race two and now knows that the racing in BSB is incredibly close and that there are plenty of elbows out in the first few laps! As for Josh, the whole team collectively apologises as two DNFs it isn’t in the nature of the PBM Be Wiser Ducati team but when things were running right, he was very competitive so there’s plenty to build on. We’ll sit down and regroup and now have an important test coming up at Oulton Park which we’ll look to make full use of.”
Bennetts British Superbike Championship race one (30 laps)
1 Josh Elliott (Suzuki)
2 Tarran Mackenzie (Yamaha)
3 Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati)
4 Luke Mossey (Suzuki)
5 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)
6 Andrew Irwin (Honda)
DNF Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati)
Bennetts British Superbike Championship race two (33 laps)
1 Tarran Mackenzie (Yamaha)
2 Josh Elliott (Suzuki)
3 Danny Buchan (Kawasaki)
4 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)
5 Luke Stapleford (Suzuki)
6 Luke Mossey (Suzuki)
DNF Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati)
DNF Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati)
Championship Points (after opening round)
1 Elliott 45pts
2 Mackenzie 45
3 Bridewell 24
4 Mossey 23
5 Buchan 23
6 Stapleford 20
8 Redding 16
Images courtesy of Double Red Photographic: Josh Brookes (25) and Scott Redding (45) in action at Silverstone.