The Be Wiser Ducati duo of Scott Redding and Josh Brookes each claimed a podium finish in the opening British Superbike race at Thruxton this afternoon.
Redding, in his first race meeting at the Hampshire circuit, claimed pole during yesterday’s qualifying session, taking the top spot from Oxford Racing Ducati’s Tommy Bridewell in the final laps of Q3.
As the lights went out, both Redding and Bridewell got swamped, with Brookes also losing several places from his P4 grid position.
But as the laps mounted, both Be Wiser riders started to make their way to the front of the battling pack of Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha), Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW Motorrad), Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing) and Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing).
With the Thruxton circuit notorious for tyre wear, both riders were patently timing their moves for the lead with the race coming down to a thrilling last lap. Redding made an early pass to take 2nd from teammate Brookes, but a brave move around the outside of Irwin for the win did not come off, with the former Be Wiser Ducati rider taking his maiden British Superbike victory. Redding claimed 2nd, just 0.223s down the road, with Brookes finishing a further half second behind in 3rd to take the final podium position and a valuable podium credit.
Despite running as high a 5th during early laps, and having race runs under his belt, local fan favourite Bridewell struggled for rear grip. This cost him any chance of challenging at the front and he ultimately finished 8th.
Brookes will start Race 2 from the front row in P3, Redding starts P5 and Bridewell P7.
Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati #46) – 2nd
“That was sick, that’s all I can say! Wicked time out there. It’s a track I don’t know and I can’t see through the corners when I’m behind the guys, and I’m trying to not let someone get away but I’m trying not to destroy the tyre and I’m trying to do all this and I’m looking at the laps and looking at the gap. And all of a sudden, maybe 5 or 6 laps to go, they just put the hammer down. I thought right, I’m just going to have to try and see what tyre I saved. I think maybe one more lap I could have done it, I had the pace. You might have seen the big slide I had through Village when I tapped 5th and I lost the run on Andrew. But I thought, I’m not giving up that easy. So, I got a good drive out of Church coming up to the last chicane and I thought he’s not going to let me go up the inside, so I gave a shot around the outside. It was worth a try. Kept in mind podium points at the same time, I’ve got to be smart, but I want to put on a show. I gave it a go, but it didn’t work out. Had a wicked race, great battling out there. So, we’ll see for Race 2 how we can manage it.”
Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati #25) – 3rd
“I’m happy to be on the podium or course. That’s what the team and sponsors are in search of every weekend. But I just feel I’m not riding in myself. Kind of getting pushed around a lot on track and kind of feeling like I’ve not got the aggressive side that I’m capable of. It’s just something missing in me, So I need to find out why I’ve not got that confidence to push a bit harder and fight for the wins.”
Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati #46) – 8th
“Very tough race. But there’s a lot of head scratching as we’ve done a lot of homework all weekend. We’ve been running on old race tyres all weekend and we felt very confident going into that race. I tried to play the race as strategically as I could but unfortunately, I just did not have the grip. There are a few bits that are giving us a direction perhaps as to why that was, and I hope we have the answer. I’m very disappointed with that race. We just have to see if it is down to what we think because then hopefully it’s an easy fix and we’ll be back where we should be in Race 2.”