It was a mixed weekend at Cadwell Park for the Be Wiser Ducati team with a win and a DNF, while a maiden victory for the Oxford Racing Ducati team was tantalisingly close.
Josh Brookes lined up for the opening British Superbike race on his Panigale V4 R in pole position, with Oxford Racing Ducat’s Tommy Bridewell in 3rd, and Brookes’ Be Wiser Ducati teammate Scott Redding in 4th.
Brookes led from the start of the race, followed by Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki), Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) and Bridewell in 4th. Meanwhile, Redding had his work cut out after he found himself down in 10th position.
Bridewell had soon passed O’Halloran for 3rd and chased down Brookes and Buchan out at the front after posting several fastest laps. The trio then went on to gap the field, with Buchan passing Brookes for the lead on Lap 11.
As the riders started their final lap, the trio of Buchan, Brookes and Bridewell had built a 7 second gap over Redding, who had moved all the way up to 4th. The riders crossed the chequered flag in that same formation, with Brookes and Bridewell scoring valuable podium credits. Redding 4th place finish was made all the more impressive considering this was his first ever race at the Lincolnshire circuit.
Bridewell’s lap times see his start Race 2 from pole. He will be joined on the front row by Redding in 2nd, with Brookes lining up directly behind them in 4th.
Bridewell got a great start from pole as led the pack around Cadwell Park. Joined by Brookes and Buchan, the trio started to pull a gap on the rest of the field in a repeat of Race 1, albeit in a different rider order.
Bridewell posted the fastest lap of the race on Lap 5 to pull a slight momentary gap at the front before being reeled back in by Brookes and Buchan.
Brookes made a move on Bridewell on Lap 8 to take the lead, with the two Ducati riders setting a fast pace out at the front as Buchan subsequently starting to drop back a little.
Brookes took the chequered flag to claim his 6th win of the season, with Bridewell less than a half a second behind to claim 2nd place and further podium credits to his name.
But Race 2 was one to forget for Scott Redding. After getting from swamped from 2nd on the grid, he was then taken out of the race on Lap 2 by Honda Racing’s Andrew Irwin.
Josh Brookes’ win and 2nd place sees him move to the top of the British Superbike championship. Ducati continue to hold the top 3 positions with Redding and Bridewell in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati #25) - Race 1, 2nd - Race 2, 1st
“In Race 1 I tried to lead and tried to make a gap. I had a really small gap at the beginning, and I felt things were going the right way. I saw Danny, he was on the board, and he closed me in. I thought we'll see how we go towards the end of the race, I might have a little bit more left in reserve. He came past and he was just riding superb. I couldn't fault how he was going, and I was trying to match what he was doing. But for whatever reason I couldn't do any more and had to take 2nd.
In Race 2 we went out with a new setting, a couple of little changes. I’d seen where Danny was stronger and realised where I wasn’t strong enough. Fortunately, we were able to make a change to the bike to bridge that gap and then I had Tommy to battle with! It was a great race, I hope Tommy isn’t too upset with me for beating him, we do have a friendship off track so hopefully we can maintain that. Tommy was riding really, really well. I could see the way he was riding, using every bit of the tyre he had. And then with a couple of laps left to go I thought surely there’s got to be a little bit of a weakness in the grip area. I pounced to see if I could lead and fortunately, I was able to hold him at bay.”
Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati #46) – Race 1, 4th - Race 2, DNF
“The important thing this weekend is that I’ve clinched my place in the Showdown which was the main aim at the beginning of the year. We now need to go to the next round at Oulton Park and get some good points, especially as it’s a triple header. What happened in today’s second race is just one of those things that happen in racing and we just have to move on. The disappointing thing is that it’s the same rider that I was involved with at Silverstone earlier this year and that’s what makes it even more disappointing and frustrating. The good thing is that I didn’t get injured and am ok, so I can look forward now to Oulton Park, a circuit we’ve already been to this year.”
Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati #46) – Race 1, 3rd - Race 2, 2nd
“I had a go! And I’m not too disappointed because to be honest I couldn’t physically have ridden that bike any faster today. We struggled all weekend a little bit. These guys just genuinely just seem to hit the ground running a little bit earlier in the weekend. Hats off to the Oxford Racing Ducati team because they always come out for race day, and I wake up a little bit which helps! Josh passed me going into the end of the back straight and I thought ‘shall I attack him straight away again or should I just see where he’s stronger?’ Genuinely, in sector 1 and 2 I thought I was all over him, I was just losing too much over the mountain and that’s what hampered me.
All in all, 3rd and 2nd, I’ll take it. Confirmed for the Showdown which is also good, and we go on to Oulton and try even harder. I don’t know how but we’ll find something! Credit to everyone involved and we’ll come back in a few weeks.”