BSB

Redding ‘would do same again for safety’ as Higgs explains penalty

"I just did what I thought was safe at that moment for me and the other riders on track..." - Redding explains why he ignored BSB penalty 

BRITISH Superbike Championship race director Stuart Higgs has detailed the reasons behind the penalty that consigned series leader Scott Redding to last position in race two having crossed the line second.

Redding cut the chicane in the closing stages of a fractured second race at Thrxuton – shortened to eight laps after two red flag stoppages – earning himself a ‘long lap penalty’ which should have seen him take a designated outside line at the turn three-four-five complex.

However, Redding chose against doing so ‘purely for safety’  in a tightly-bunched pack, instead crossing the line second on the road. With the long lap penalty upgraded to a ride-through penalty, the equivalent of 15secs was added to his race time, dropping him to 22nd and last.

In the wake of the move, Higgs took to BSB’s Facebook page to explain the decision – full video here – explaining:

“Ahead of the weekend, as we do at a track with any section where there is a likelihood you can do a track cut there is a protocol in place that you need to be one second slower in that sector three to the finish line. You have got to be a second slower on the lap you made the cut, compared to your average time in that sector.

“The track cut Scott did was a 29.2 time and his other laps in that race were in the region still - the precise calculation is it was a 0.3s deficit so he didn’t make the yield line of a second slower in that sector.

“It is a default penalty, it is using the long lap penalty and that route is between turns three, four and five and he was shown three boards – 2 manual boards and then a digital board across the finish line – and he has 3 laps to take it. After the third pass, the penalty escalates to a ride-through penalty but with one lap remaining you can’t physically do a ride-through so we have to apply a time equivalent penalty, which is 15 seconds.

Admitting it is a ‘harsh outcome’, Higgs nonetheless points out the long lap would have cost him little more than 1.5s had he taken it rather than risk it to the finish line. 

“A harsh outcome for Scott but the principle positions on this are that he didn’t yield by one second, he had the ability to do the long lap – which if we look back to some of the earlier races like Alastair Seeley in the Supersport race – the long route would have been a real time penalty of 1.5 seconds, so if he had done that it would have mitigated the penalty he ended up getting. 

“I’m sure he is angry with me but it is a level playing field for all competitors. We apply the regulations 100% consistently.”

Redding proceeded to reply to the video on FB to stand by his decision to not take the penalty, also using example of Seeley to justify why he didn’t ‘go long’, before adding he’d do the same again. 

“To be honest with you all, I just did what I thought was safe at that moment for me and the other riders on track, I will take the penalty on the chin. If it happened again in the same situation I would do the same thing purely for safety, if any of you have the chance to watch the Supersport race which Seeley making the long lap you will see why I didn’t want to put us In Danger. Much love let’s have some fun at Cadwell [sic].

The incident hasn’t dented Redding’s title aspirations too much, with the ex-MotoGP rider now 20 points clear of Be Wiser Paul Bird Motorsport team-mate Josh Brookes with just two rounds remaining before the top six Title Showdown begins. 

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