Podium For Brookes Amidst Silverstone Frustration For VisionTrack Ducati

The mid-point of the COVID-19 shortened Bennetts British Superbike Championship proved a frustrating one for defending champions VisionTrack Ducati at Silverstone although Josh Brookes did manage a podium in today’s first race around the 1.64-mile National circuit.

Sixth in the second race on the factory-supported VisionTrack Ducati Panigale V4 R meant the Australian outscored series leader Glenn Irwin by four points on the day and he now sits in joint second overall after nine races. Tyneside-based teammate Christian Iddon had a more challenging day with seventh in race two his best finish.

With good conditions once more, both riders made superb starts to the first 30-lap race today with 2015 champion Brookes moving up to second and Iddon seventh at the end of the first lap and a lap later Josh took the lead which he duly held on to for the next 25 laps.

He was under pressure throughout from yesterday’s winner Tarran Mackenzie, along with Kyle Ryde and Jason O’Halloran and although Mackenzie went out on lap 14, the other two stayed with Brookes. On lap 27, Ryde made his move and opened up a lead to eventually take his maiden BSB victory, but Josh held on for second place and a valuable podium finish.

Iddon, meanwhile ran inside the top seven for the majority of the race where he was part of a six-rider battle for fourth. Unfortunately, he again ran into tyre issues in the closing stages and slipped back to a disappointing 13th at the chequered flag.

The second race later in the day saw both of Paul Bird’s riders make good starts to slot into fourth and fifth but this time it was Iddon who was in the ascendancy and by lap ten he was up into third with Brookes having slipped back to sixth.

Brookes remained in that position until the chequered flag to move up to joint second in the championship and although Iddon again had issues towards the end of the race, on this occasion, he was able to hold on for seventh for nine valuable points to occupy sixth in the standings going into Oulton Park in two weeks’ time.

Josh Brookes: “The team did a great job overnight with the bike and it gave me that little bit that I was missing in yesterday’s race but although I led for much of the first race, I knew the guys were right behind me. I just focused on what I could do, rather than worry about their race strategies and was happy with a podium. I was disappointed to finish in sixth place in the second race, but I did the best I could but overall, it’s been a tough weekend. I’m now looking forward to Oulton Park where we know the bike will work better.”

Christian Iddon: “It’s been a very tough weekend for me. The problems we had didn’t occur until the first race yesterday which was going OK until we had a technical issue with the tyre, and I was lucky to finish. The opening race today was horrendous with another couple of technical problems including another tyre issue so going into the third and final race, I wasn’t feeling confident at all. I tried a different strategy and it was a positive step but with three laps to go, the problems reoccurred, and I got mugged by three or four people. I came here with high hopes and our results didn’t reflect that, so we learn from it and move on.”

Johnny Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator: “Not our best weekend at all but we know the reasons for the results and are confident of bouncing back strongly. We are delighted with Josh’s podium which keeps him in second place and Christian is still well in the fight for the title despite his issues this weekend. It’s frustrating that we only got the one podium as both riders showed they were capable of running at the front, but the results didn’t reflect that. We are now looking forward to our home race at Oulton Park to get the VisionTrack PBM Ducatis on the top step of the podium again.”