Redding marches to first BSB win in Donington thriller

Ex-MotoGP rider Scott Redding becomes the 50th BSB race winner as he secures his maiden Superbike success at Donington Park
Redding marches to first BSB win in Donington thriller

BSB Donington Park - Race Results (1)

Scott Redding is celebrating his maiden Bennetts British Superbike Championship victory at Donington Park after prevailing in a pulsating encounter to triumph over Tarran Mackenzie and Xavi Fores.

The ex-MotoGP rider, in only his fifth BSB start on the Be Wiser Ducati, looked to be out of contention during the initial stages as the combination of a bad start from the front row and a cautious opening few laps left him down in sixth position at one stage.

However, when team-mate Josh Brookes suffered a dramatic high-side on the exit of the Roberts chicane, it served to break up the front group and enabled Redding to get his head down in clear.

Even so, Redding didn’t make light work of his first race win since 2013 when he competed in the Moto2 World Championship class, at one stage running fourth and around three seconds off the lead duo of Mackenzie and Tommy Bridewell.

Indeed, victory seemed destined to be going the way of these two riders in the wake of Brookes’ exit – who had been running third behind the pair – Bridewell impressing in particular with a series of aggressive but clean passes at Roberts that lifted him into a well-earned lead.

Lapping quickly, Mackenzie went with Bridewell as they pulled out a sizeable margin back to the pack behind but the dynamic of the race would change as they began to dispute the lead and swap positions continuously.

Simultaneously, Redding behind had found his rhythm and at a rate of 0.5secs per lap began to reel the leaders in. With the Ducati approaching, Mackenzie attempted to make a decisive move on Bridewell but instead found himself swallowed by the Panigale and its superior straight line speed on lap 19.

Lifting Redding to second, an unconventional but effective inside pass at Redgate on lap 22 of 26 was all he needed to pull away thereafter, the Englishman marching home to become the 50th different race winner in BSB history 11 years after entering the record books at Donington Park as the youngest ever GP winner in the 125GP class.

Mackenzie had to contend with second after eventually seeing off Bridewell, his success over the Oxford Racing rider ensuring he assumes the championship lead for himself again.

Similarly to Redding, Fores pulled off a mighty performance from 11th on the grid to give Honda Racing a welcome first podium of 2019 in what has been a tough season so far. The ex-WorldSBK rider made an excellent start to run with the leaders in sixth initially and while he too would lose ground when Brookes came off in front of him, the Spaniard worked with Redding to get back into the front group and be rewarded with a maiden BSB podium.

Bridewell held onto fourth from Jason O’Halloran who was lucky not to collect Brookes as he fell ahead of him, while Hector Barbera made it two Spaniards in the BSB top six with a mighty ride to sixth. The ex-MotoGP rider started in eighth and slipped back early on, but a series of fast laps – which have earned him a front row start in race two – pulled him into an impressive sixth.

Also making big gains in the race was Tyco BMW duo Christian Iddon and Keith Farmer, who finished seventh and eighth having started down in 17th and 23rd respectively following accidents in qualifying and FP3.

Glenn Irwin notched up his first top ten result of the year, though this came at the behest of Luke Mossey who stopped on the final lap. Peter Hickman completed the top ten.

The second of three races takes place tomorrow with Bridewell on pole position from Fores and Barbera.