Race 2 was full of drama, after the race was red-flagged twice while Josh Brookes was leading. But the Be Wiser Ducati rider was dominant 3rd time out to take his 9th career victory at Thruxton.
After starting from the front row in 3rd, Be Wiser Ducati’s Josh Brookes was soon leading Race 2 after passing Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) and Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) on Lap 3.
Brookes was out at front, with teammate Scott Redding and Oxford Racing Ducati’s Bridewell 3rd and 4th respectively behind Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing), when the red flag came out on Lap 9 due to rain falling.
Even though the track was dry, the 13-lap restarted race was declared wet as per official British Superbike rules, with riders able to swap their used slick tyres for new ones – an abnormality at Thruxton due to the abrasive nature of the circuit.
Brookes led once more only to have the red flag come out a second time on Lap 7 after Glenn Irwin (Tyco BMW Motorrad) crashed his bike exiting the chicane, which subsequently contaminated the track.
The restart saw Brookes line up in pole, and after a good start he cleared off at the front to end the 8-lap race with the chequered flag and a dominant victory of over 4 seconds.
Redding’s race was full of drama after he ran on at the chicane on Lap 3. The Be Wiser Ducati rider let two riders past and slowed - but not by the required amount. This meant he had to ride a long lap and was given three laps in which to do so.
Redding made some bold moves to take the flag 2nd on track, but failure to ride the long lap resulted in a 15 second penalty, dropping him down to dead last in 22nd.
Bridewell had run out of suitable tyre options when the 1st restarted race was red-flagged. Running a new X rear saw the Oxford Racing Ducati rider struggle for grip and unable to challenge for positions, ultimately finishing 5th.
With 246 points, Redding still leads the championship, while Brookes moves into 2nd with 226 points ahead of Bridewell's 207 points.
Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati #25) – 1st
“All weekend I’ve wanted to ride as hard as I can. But at this circuit it’s always been about conserving the tyres and being patient. It’s been quite frustrating in Race 1, trying to not ride too aggressively to ruin the tyre, and getting beat up by riders who are going harder at the start. It’s quite a difficult balance and often that’s been one of the elements that’s allowed me to win here before is timing it right. Knowing when to hold back and then knowing when to go for the sprint. I did quite a good job I Race to be in 2nd with one lap to go, it was close. But I just didn’t have enough left in reserve. I don’t know if I could have done a lot different. Not getting beat up in the first few corners could have helped.
With Race 2 getting red-flagged, and then dropping to 13 laps, I didn’t have to think about the tyres so much, I could just ride as hard as I wanted. And then I was leading that section of the race and it got red-flagged again and it got down to 8 laps. So, I knew it was basically qualifying, you just had to go as hard as you could. The tyre was never going to come into it, it was just who dares to push hardest. And I enjoyed that. I haven’t ridden here like that for a long time because it’s always been about trying to ride sensibly and make the tyre last. But then all of a sudden today it was like, drop all those ideas and just go for it! It was a strange scenario and I enjoyed it. Any way you can win you’re going to be pleased.”
Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati #46) – 22nd
“We ended up with an 8-lap race. I was struggling to get off the starts and to push in the beginning. I knew I only had 8 laps to go for what I had to do. I bit the screen when I could, I was trying. Josh got away, he did a good race. Fair play and hats off to him. I was just struggling for those short races.
I tried but then I ran on at the last chicane where we were three, four abreast. I went wide and I thought I’d go straight through. Hand up, cruised down the straight, I let two guys back past me and I went slow all the way down the straight. Then it was maybe two or three laps to go and saw that I had a long lap. And I thought with the long lap with three laps left to go they’d give me the long lap penalty after. Plus, it was an 8-lap race and it was a crazy race. You saw how much contact was out there and all the guys banging bars and I thought if I come out of that long lap with 2 laps left to go and guys are overtaking there, it’s dangerous in my opinion. I overtook Andrew there. Imagine if someone’s coming out of a long lap that you didn’t see? I always keep that in perspective. We need to keep the sport safe and that’s what I did today, so I hold my head high for that. I just think that the penalty of 15 seconds is way too much, especially for an 8-lap race. For a long race, maybe I could have accepted it a bit more, but it was 8 laps. I even gave up time. It was 2, 3 laps to go. It was odds against me. But it is what it is. I can’t change it.
I was the fastest guy out there, I was strong. For me I finished 2nd today, I can take that back with me regardless. We got the penalty. I just need to regroup, forget about it but maybe learn for next time, and then go on to Cadwell.”
Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati #46) – 5th
“I am disappointed. That’s the bottom line, but it could have been a lot worse. I’m not the biggest fan of flat-out tracks where you’re absolutely broad sideways and it’s bar to bar. I don’t mind it, but I prefer more technical stuff, Cadwell, Oulton, all these circuits are what I’ve been brought up on.
To come away with an 8th and a 5th, in my position in the championship, and as a team, doesn’t look good by any means. But also, we had a tyre problem in Race 1 where it overheated, and the temperature went sky high. And that was semi out of our hands. And then in Race 2, because it got stopped and started so much, we had to run with the harder X tyre and it just simply hasn’t got the grip, simply anywhere near the grip of the Zeros. To come away with 5th, I think it was obvious to see on TV how much wheel spin we had compared to anyone else. Not saying that that’s fault of the team. We win together, we lose together.
Today was just about another step closer to cementing the Showdown. We’re building now to circuits that are a lot more suited to me. We’re going to Cadwell, I feel I could ride a donkey around there quite well! So, looking forward to that and then going back to Oulton where we mega speed there, we got a new swinging arm now which is going to be even better. Ultimately Josh rode a phenomenal race, credit to him, and we were 2nd Ducati. It could be worse, look on the bright side of life and we shall.”