Scott Redding became the 50th different Bennetts British Superbike Championship race winner at Donington Park on Saturday afternoon as he celebrated his first victory in the series following an incredible four-way battle in the opening race of the triple-header weekend.
At the start of the race, Oulton Park double winner Josh Brookes launched from pole position to lead the pack into Redgate ahead of Jason O’Halloran, Tarran Mackenzie and Redding. However Tommy Bridewell was instantly on the attack and by lap two he was tucked in behind Mackenzie, and a lap later was into second with a big move on O’Halloran.
Brookes was trying to bridge a gap but Bridewell was in close contention, with the McAMS Yamaha duo of O’Halloran and Mackenzie locked in formation behind. The Oxford Racing Ducati hit the lead at Redgate on the start of the fifth lap as Mackenzie moved into second, the pair pushing Brookes into third.
The 2015 champion was pushing to regain the position when he suffered a huge high-side on the exit of Roberts on lap six which threw him out of the seat of his Be Wiser Ducati. The Australian was able to walk away from the crash despite his heavy tumble.
At the front, the two joint championship leaders were trading blows with Bridewell and Mackenzie switching positions for the lead with nearly every lap, but the pair’s initial advantage was closing and Redding was determined to score an emotional victory in the opening race.
Redding was bringing Xavi Forés with him too and the final six laps became a four-way tussle at the front of the field. On lap 22 the former MotoGP contender went for a move on the pair and by the start of the next lap the Be Wiser Ducati was at the front, holding on to the advantage until the chequered flag.
Scott Redding – P1
“It feels great first of all. I voiced it before the weekend that if I’m going to do it I need to do it here, so put a bit of pressure on myself really, but when you know you’ve got a good feeling with the bike and the team, you know a little bit of the track. I just messed up the start big time again. From second on the grid, the guys either side of me just went and I thought ‘come on Scott, get your head down’ and I got back, Fores came past. I didn’t really expect that, and I thought ‘woah what’s going on? How many people are behind, how many are going to go? I was making mistakes with the rear tyre and I couldn’t really settle into my pace for a long time. And then one moment kind-of clicked, I smoothened out, and I could just kind-of catch the guys, little bit, little bit. I saw them overtake and I was like ‘yeah keep going, keep going, you’re helping me, you’re helping me’. And I got stuck in there and we had a good little battle for a couple of laps, trying to overtake going three abreast into the last chicane, and I love that sort of race., Everything was very clean, everyone respected each other, that was really good. I thought ‘right I need to try and get out of this because it isn’t going to end well with three of us on the last lap’ and I didn’t know that Xavi was even just on the back of us so I managed to get a little gap and maintain it, and the win just felt phenomenal for me out there. It’s been coming and waiting for a long time and now I’ve got it, it feels a lot of weight off my shoulders and I feel much better and I think we can get many more.”
Bridewell was coming under pressure and, with four laps to go, Mackenzie had moved into second and then the Oxford Racing Ducati rider had Forés in close contention too. The Honda Racing rider struck on the penultimate lap to move into third and claim his first victory in the series to become the seventh different podium finisher of the season so far.
O’Halloran ended the race in fifth place following an intense scrap with Bennetts BSB debutant Hector Barbera in sixth, with Christian Iddon moving up eleven places from his starting grid position to finish in seventh for Tyco BMW, narrowly ahead of Keith Farmer who bounced back from his free practice three crash.
Glenn Irwin and Peter Hickman completed the top ten finishers ahead of races two and three tomorrow.
Richard Cooper doubled up on Pirelli National Superstock 1000 wins at Donington Park, extending his lead at the top of the standings. Cooper led the opening race from the off, grabbing the holeshot and pulling away at the front ahead of Taylor Mackenzie, Chrissy Rouse and Alex Olsen. Unchallenged throughout the 22 lap race, the Buildbase Suzuki rider was able to take his fourth victory of the season. Olsen secured second place ahead of Rouse. Eemeli Lahti had a fantastic ride through the field to fourth with Mackenzie eventually taking fifth.
Cooper had a tougher challenge in the second 22 lap race. Again grabbing the holeshot, Cooper was able to lead the opening lap however both Lahti and Mackenzie had sliced past the Suzuki by the time they crossed the line again. Keep his cool however, Cooper was soon back in the lead, eventually taking the win by 1.6s ahead of Rouse and Olsen whilst Lahti was again fourth with Lee Jackson fifth.
South Australian Levi Day carded a pair of top ten finishes while Brayden Elliott finished 22nd in race one before failing to finish the second bout.
The double win by Cooper has seen him pull clear atop the championship ladder with a 24-point buffer over Alex Olsen.
BSB Superstock Donington Race One
Richard Cooper 47 25:03.075 Suzuki
Alex Olsen 75 +2.489 BMW
Chrissy Rouse 69 +2.956 Kawasaki
Eemeli Lathi 22 +9.327 Kawasaki
Taylor Mackenzie 77 +9.625 BMW
Tom Neave 68 +9.894 Honda
Luke Hedger 12 +10.870 Kawasaki
Levi Day 26 +11.404 Aprilia
Ben Godfrey 16 +14.899 Suzuki
Lewis Rollo 8 +17.428 Aprilia
BSB Superstock Donington Race Two
Richard Cooper 47 25:07.681 Suzuki
Chrissy Rouse 69 +1.601 Kawasaki
Alex Olsen 75 +2.279 BMW
Eemeli Lathi 22 +7.448 Kawasaki
Lee Jackson 14 +7.737 Kawasaki
Tom Neave 68 +8.069 Honda
Taylor Mackenzie 77 +9.155 BMW
Luke Hedger 12 +9.998 Kawasaki
Lewis Rollo 8 +10.471 Aprilia
Levi Day 26 +12.342 Aprilia
Alastair Seeley has taken his first Dickies British Supersport win of the season as series leader Jack Kennedy crashed out of contention. It was Seeley who grabbed the holeshot ahead of the GP2 machine of Kyle Ryde, with Brad Jones and Jack Kennedy just behind. As they started their second lap, Jones was able to slice his way into the lead but the ‘Wee Wizard’ was back in front just two laps later.
Disaster struck reigning champ and series leader Kennedy as he crashed out of fourth place. As Seeley set about building a small lead of over second, Ryde had moved into second place and a string of fast laps to close up, taking the lead with four laps to go. Seeley was back in front as they started their final lap, fending off the GP2 machine to take his first victory of the season and the Championship lead. Brad Jones eventually finished the second Supersport machine with Tom Oliver completing the podium in third.
Harry Truelove finished fifth overall ahead of the second GP2 machine of Jamie Perrin whilst Rory Skinner, Ross Twyman, Richard Kerr and Ben Wilson completing the top ten.
British Supersport Championship
Donington Park, Sprint Race
Alastair Seeley (EHA Racing Yamaha)
Kyle Ryde (Kovara By RS Racing Kalex GP2) +0.097s
Brad Jones (Colin Appleyard Macadam Yamaha) +6.298s
Tom Oliver (SGR Racing Yamaha) +11.048s
Harry Truelove (Truelove Construction Yamaha) +17.273s
Jamie Perrin (Nova Transmissions/Go Racing GP2) +18.085s
Dickies British Supersport Championship – British GP2 Cup
Donington Park, Championship Standings
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