Defending Bennetts British Superbike champions VisionTrack Ducati had a challenging opening race at Silverstone this afternoon with Josh Brookes and Christian Iddon battling to sixth and eighth place finishes respectively.
Australian Brookes had qualified in second place aboard Paul Bird’s factory-supported VisionTrack Ducati Panigale V4R with Tyneside-based teammate Iddon
down in 13th following the Datatag Qualifying session, which was twice interrupted due to red flags.
Timing a fast lap was of the essence and it was Josh who fared better with a time of 53.406s putting him second on the grid whilst luck went against Christian, the second red flag coming out just as he was on a quick lap which meant he had work to do from the fifth row.
The 25-lap race saw good conditions all around the 1.64-mile National circuit but Brookes found himself shuffled back to sixth at the conclusion of the opening lap although Iddon had moved up to 11th for the Cumbrian-based team.
By lap four, Brookes had slipped further back to ninth with Iddon moving in the opposite direction to seventh and the duo soon found themselves circulating in each other’s wheel tracks. The pair were soon battling with Andrew Irwin and although Josh was able to stay with the Honda man as he moved ahead, Christian slipped back into the clutches of the following pack which consisted of no less than five riders.
Josh eventually took sixth place to maintain fourth place in the championship with Christian keeping the big group of riders behind him for eighth and eight hard-earned points. That was enough for him to hold on to third overall with seven of the 18 races now having taken place.
Josh Brookes: “That was a tough race and definitely not where we wanted to be. I didn’t have the confidence early on to push like I needed to so lost a few places which compounded the situation. I’m just lacking confidence in the bike in the early laps which leaves me vulnerable but that gives me lots of work to do later in the race when I get into a rhythm. But that’s no good in a race and we need to improve early on. I need to find speed in the last sector as the rest of the lap is ok but, in this series, you can’t give the opposition a head start. We plan some changes in warm-up to hopefully give us that tiny bit of what we are missing.”
Christian Iddon: “I felt pretty good from my poor grid position and for the first part of the race I wasrunning with the front bunch and was in a good position. It’s where I felt I should have been and then we encountered some issues which we’d not had all weekend, but they decided to rear their ugly head and I struggled massively. I was hoping to get a fifth place at worst but had one or two other issues in the final stages and I was lucky to finish. I’m still up there in the championship but eighth place is a bit of a kick in the teeth. Hopefully, we can learn from today and do better tomorrow.”
Sunday’s two 30-lap races are scheduled to take place at 12:15 and 16:30 respectively.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship race (25 laps)
1 Tarran Mackenzie (Yamaha)
2 Kyle Ryde (Suzuki)
3 Jason O’Halloran (Yamaha)
4 Glenn Irwin (Honda)
5 Andrew Irwin (Honda)
6 Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati)
8 Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati)
Championship Standings (after seven races)
1 Glenn Irwin 131pts
2 Bridewell 101
3 Iddon 94
4 Brookes 92
5 Mackenzie 81
6 O’Halloran 81
Picture courtesy of Double Red Photographic: Josh Brookes (25) and Christian Iddon (21).