VisionTrack Ducati rider Christian Iddon continues to lead the Bennetts British Superbike Championship following another solid performance in the opening race at Brands Hatch which saw him score a podium finish.
Aboard Paul Bird’s factory-backed VisionTrack Ducati Panigale V4 RR, the Tyneside-based rider originally from the Peak District made it three podium finishes in the opening three meetings when he claimed third place in today’s BikeSocial Sprint race at the Kent track.
Starting on row three of the grid following qualifying in difficult conditions on a damp track, the first attempt at the race was stopped due to an accident involving Brad Jones, but after a lengthy delay, Iddon set about increasing his championship lead as he made a great start.
With the race reduced to 12 laps, Iddon was up to second position at one point before dropping back to third which he held comfortably until the chequered flag behind Tarran Mackenzie and Tommy Bridewell. And with many of his title rivals finishing behind him, Iddon increased his lead to 11 points going into tomorrow’s two races.
For teammate Josh Brookes, it was another day of frustration for the defending champion who showed a glimmer of his old self in the damp qualifying session. But in the race, the Bedfordshire-based Aussie battled in the lower leaderboard positions before a storming last lap saw him claim ninth place at the chequered flag and in doing so, salvaged some more important points.
Christian Iddon: “It’s nice to be on the podium again but it was a really hard race and a bit of a re-run of the race last October when I was in the leading pack but didn’t have the pace to win. I need to find that little something to give us the couple of tenths we need to really go for the race wins but it’s always nice to finish the race with a trophy and equally nice to extend my championship lead a little bit more.”
Josh Brookes: “At the previous rounds, my issues centred around lack of grip, but it’s been less of an issue here.However, I still haven’t got a bike that feels how I know it should be. We’ve continued to make a variety of changes to limit what’s been affecting our performance, but I think now’s the time to go back to the softer SC0 tyre. We’ve been using the SCX tyre as that’s what’s felt like the right thing to do but we need to go back to what we know to get back on the pace and be in the positions where we know we should be finishing.”
Johnny Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator: “Overall, it’s been a solid day. Christian deserves every bit of credit at the moment as he’s running at the front at every circuit we’re going to and that’s testament to him and the team. He’s racking up the podium credits and although he wasn’t 100% happy with the bike today, we’ll get his feedback and look to give him a bike he can win on tomorrow. Josh is still finding the going tough and doesn’t look as confident on the bike as he usually does. We’ve got two more races tomorrow so, again, we’ll go through the data and look at what settings we can change and improve to get him further up the field.”
Bennetts British Superbike Championship race one (12 laps)
1 Tarran Mackenzie (Yamaha)
2 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)
3 Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati)
4 Danny Buchan (BMW)
5 Jason O’Halloran (Yamaha)
6 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)
9 Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati)
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings (after seven races)
1 Iddon 127pts
2 O’Halloran 116
3 Buchan 104
4 Mackenzie 101
5 Bridewell 80
6 Skinner 69
11 Brookes 45
Images courtesy of Double Red: Josh Brookes (1) and Christian Iddon (21)