Josh Brookes continued his winning streak from Cadwell Park after victory at the opening race at Oulton Park this afternoon.
The Be Wiser Ducati rider lined up in pole after setting his fastest ever lap, a sub 1:34, around the Cheshire circuit during Q3 earlier today. He was joined on the all-Ducati front row by Oxford Racing Ducati’s Tommy Bridewell in P2, and his Be Wiser teammate Scott Redding in P3.
All three Ducati riders got strong starts, with Bridewell going on top set a new lap record, but the red flag came out in the early stages of the race after several crashes from other riders and a track contaminated by fluid.
Brookes once again led from pole on the restart until Bridewell made a move for the front on Lap 4. But disaster struck when the Oxford Racing Ducati rider was forced to retire from the lead just a couple of laps later after suffering a technical fault.
With Bridewell out of the race, Brookes was able to pull a gap at the front and won a dominant race on the Panigale V4 R with a gap of almost 5 seconds over Brad Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) in 2nd. The Be Wiser Ducati tea, had a further reason to celebrate, after Redding picked off riders to move up from 7th to claim his first podium finish at Oulton Park.
Brookes’ fastest lap sees him line up for the first of Sunday’s two races in pole. He will once again be joined on the front row by Bridewell who starts from 3rd, with Redding just behind the pair in at the front of Row 2 in 4th.
Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati #25) – 1st
“For me It’s a lot easier when the weekend goes to plan. Within 3 laps on Friday morning we were quicker than I did in the whole of Race 1 here earlier in the year. In 3 laps the bike was right where it needed to be.
When you start out like that it just makes my life a whole lot easier. Sometimes you can start out on a Friday morning and the bike just doesn’t feel right and you have to go through a load of changes to try and refine that setting. Fortunately, this weekend with already having a good setup here from earlier in the year, I was just able to get on with the job.
In the actual qualifying everything went to plan, I did a good lap time, my personal best around the circuit so that was enough to go to pole position.
In the race a couple of passes needed to be made but again it all went to plan. I was able to have the confidence to keep pushing until the end and take out the win. It’s not really important how you do it, it’s the fact that it’s been done.
I’m pleased. The points are critical at the moment, as they are the whole year. But there’s more emphasis on it this time of the season as it’s really visible just how much each point plays.”
Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati #45) – 3rd
“The red flag hindered us a little bit because I felt better in the start of Race 1. But it is what it is. I had to let the tyres come back to me a bit on the start of Race 2, and I couldn’t really race my style. But it just took me a few laps. Once I got my head around where I needed to go, and I got a bit of clear space, I could go.
It’s just getting off to a good start, that’s the problem. Sometimes I get a good start but these boys divebomb. Then someone else comes past, and then they’re connecting and someone else comes past. It’s just getting a first few clean laps and then I can fight for the top step of the podium.”