Double podium for the VisionTrack Ducati team in Race 1 at Donington Park as Christian Iddon and Josh Brookes cross the line in 2nd and 3rd respectively

Today’s opening British Superbike race at Donington Park proved to be a great one for the VisionTrack Ducati team, after both riders stepped on to the podium and Christian Iddon taking the Championship lead for the first time this season.

Saturday’s qualifying and race was cancelled due to poor weather conditions, with the grid formed using combined Free Practice times. Josh Brookes had topped both sessions so started from pole, with his teammate Christian Iddon lining up on the grid in 4th.

Iddon got the better start to move into 3rd as Brookes got swamped and demoted to 5th. Drama was to come later on the opening lap as Championship and race leader Glenn Irwin crashed his Honda at Goddards.

Honda Racing’s Andy Irwin inherited the lead, with Iddon promoted to 2nd. On Lap 4 Brookes passed Danny Buchan to move up into 3rd behind his teammate. The two VisionTrack Ducati riders traded fastest lap and by two thirds race distance the three leaders had opened up a 6 second gap.

Andy Irwin had a 1 second lead as the riders started their 15th and final lap. Brookes was running close to Iddon but ultimately was unable to challenge him for 2nd. The two Ducati riders went on to claim a double podium for the VisionTrack Ducati team, with Iddon’s result seeing him take the championship lead for the first time this season.

Oxford Products Racing’s Tommy Bridwell started his race from 8th. A tyre gamble, where he opted for the harder rear option for the damp conditions, did not pay off and he finished his race in 15th position.

Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati #21) – 2nd
“It was a good race, an enjoyable race. I struggled in certain parts. It’s funny because I was strong in heavy braking into the hairpin but really weak into the chicane, two very similar parts but I was really nervous on the brakes into the chicane. Glenn going down early was a little bit of a puddler for the brain, because obviously I know championship wise it was an important moment. Then it was a case of don’t do anything stupid, but semi-stupid enough to be fast enough! We had a different tyre choice to Andrew, I didn’t realise it at the time. I was really trying to conserve the tyre but at the end I had nothing for him. It was a very impressive ride by Andrew in them conditions because it’s tough to lead in a race like that, especially as he probably had +0 all the time. Big thanks to PBM and VisionTrack Ducati. Two more races to go, I’m looking forward to it.”

Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati #25) – 3rd
“The track was quite dry even on the sighting lap, but it wasn’t worth trying to run a dry weather tyre. The temperature being so low means where it is wet it’s slippy, even on a wet tyre. We just had to ride conservatively where it was dry and try and get as much grip as possible and drive safely through the wet bits. It was tricky. I felt like in control of the bike. I didn’t feel like I was about to crash at any moment. But it was still tricky. When the wet weather tyres get hot they start to move around a lot and don’t give you a lot of confidence so I didn’t feel like trying to make aggressive moves in circumstances like that. We’ve still got a lot of races to go so just consolidated and took the points that are important for the championship. We can move onto the afternoon and maybe put things right.”

Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Ducati #46) – 15th
“We went for the harder rear and to be honest I’ve never rode with it before. We just had a lot of wheelspin straight away, straight from the offset. Strange really because the bike felt really good, it’s felt really good all weekend. It was my decision to go with the harder rear because previous times I’ve always got caught out when the track dries and I go with the soft rear and I’m really strong for the first part of the race and then destroy the tyre. I was sort of slow and steady the whole race, hoping, praying that the softer tyre of the guys in front were going to drop off, but obviously not. Never mind, we’ll regroup and bounce back for the last two races today.”