Buchan, FS-3 Kawasaki clinch maiden BSB win, Redding 15th to 2nd

Danny Buchan gives FS-3 Kawasaki its maiden Bennetts British Superbike Championship success as Scott Redding shines in 15th to podium charge
Buchan, FS-3 Kawasaki clinch maiden BSB win, Redding 15th to 2nd

Danny Buchan and FS-3 Kawasaki have scored a long-awaited maiden Bennetts British Superbike Championship win together with a masterful ride in tricky conditions at Knockhill, while Scott Redding once more displayed his title credentials with an eye-catching charge from the mid-pack to second.

With morning rain prompting headaches on the grid as engineers grappled with potential tyre gambles, in the end nearly all riders – with the exception of Dan Linfoot and Ben Currie – swapped to slicks to make the most of an emerging, but slender dry line.

Off the damp grid, Tarran Mackenzie scrambled to the dry line quickest from third on the grid to snatch the lead, ahead of pole man Xavi Fores and Buchan, who together with Christian Iddon quickly established a gap to the riders behind.

However, when Buchan powered past Fores on lap five, both he and Mackenzie quickly fractured the front pack into a head-to-head between the FS-3 Kawasaki rider and the leading McAMS Yamaha man.

A venue that has been kind to both Buchan – a double podium winner in 2018 – and Kawasaki with 11 wins in the last 13 races held there, the double Superstock 1000 champion upped the pressure on Mackenzie until lap 11 when he out-braked him into the hairpin.

Mackenzie’s attempts to respond ended abruptly a lap later when – having already squirmed more than once after clipping the white lines on previous laps – lost the back end of his Yamaha on the exit of the chicane to high-side out. To compound McAMS' woes, Jason O’Halloran pulled off with technical issues almost simultaneously whilst running fifth.

With several seconds now in hand over the chasing pack, Buchan could afford to concentrate on keeping his lines neat all the way to the chequered flag as he rounded out victory by six seconds.

Redemption for Buchan who has occasionally struggled for consistent form in Superbikes despite his dominance in Superstock competition, his success comes on a weekend where he never strayed outside the top three regardless of the conditions. Moreover, it comes with FS-3 Racing, itself a relative newcomer to BSB having run just a single Kawasaki entry since its debut in 2016.

Buchan’s efforts were matched only in their imperiousness by a brilliant performance by Redding, who shrugged off both his lowly starting position of 15th and a small margin for error on a damp track to claw his way back into contention.

Scything his way up the order – including past championship leader Tommy Bridewell – Redding’s inch-perfect passes on Iddon (penultimate lap) and Fores (final lap) for third and then second at Turn 3 were particular highlights. The result strengthens his podium credit tally and reduces the lead to Bridewell to five points.

Despite Redding’s late attack, Fores completed the podium for his fourth rostrum of the year, just holding off Tyco BMW’s Iddon, who turn resisted Bridewell.

Bradley Ray scored his best finish of the season in sixth on the Buildbase Suzuki, resisting fellow GSXR-1000R rider Luke Mossey and title contender Josh Brookes, who couldn’t follow Redding’s charge on the way to a distant eighth place.

Luke Stapleford and Glenn Irwin completed the top ten in a race of high attrition, which – together with the McAMS Yamaha duo – saw Andrew Irwin crash from fifth.