Redding opens up top in Donington BSB FP1

Scott Redding gets straight up to speed in first free practice for the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Donington Park. 
Redding opens up top in Donington BSB FP1

Donington Park BSB - Free Practice Results (1)

Scott Redding marked his competitive return to Donington Park in style by topping first free practice for the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship, ahead of team-mate Josh Brookes.

Though it has been a decade since Redding last raced at the Leicestershire circuit, it is a venue of significance for the ex-MotoGP rider after becoming the youngest-ever GP winner here back in 2008.

With the 28-strong BSB field competing on the short National configuration this weekend – which misses out the Fogarty esses and the Melbourne loop in favour of using the Roberts chicane at the end of the back straight – Redding emerged quickest during a flurry of rapid late laps.

Indeed, with the leaderboard changing right up to the chequered flag, Redding stopped the clock at 1m 06.527s to edge out his Be Wiser Ducati team-mate Josh Brookes by 0.023s, with third place man Luke Mossey on the OMG Suzuki two tenths adrift in third position.

Keith Farmer was an encouraging fourth quickest on the Tyco BMW, ahead of S1000RR counterpart Peter Hickman on the Smiths machine, while Tarran Mackenzie recovered from a crash early on at the Craner Curves to get back out and go sixth quickest.

Tipped to go better this weekend with the benefit of prior track experience, Xavi Fores proved as much in FP1 with a run to seventh on the Honda, ahead of Josh Elliot, Christian Iddon and Dan Linfoot.

Elsewhere, Hector Barbera marked his BSB debut by emerging as the highest-placed Kawasaki rider in 14thposition, ahead of joint series leader Tommy Bridewell and Quattro Plant JG Speedfit counterpart Glenn Irwin.