Scott Redding broke his Bennetts British Superbike Championship duck at Donington Park last weekend. Then he won again. And again. Sealing his maiden three wins at the triple-header, the Be Wiser Ducati man has become the 50th winner in the modern era and is propelled into the championship lead.
In 2008, a 15-year-old Redding made Grand Prix history by becoming the then youngest ever winner, beating Marc Marquez who collected his first ever podium. Eleven years on, 26-year-old Redding led home the field in three phenomenal races as the championship raced on Donington’s shorter National Circuit for the first time since Shane Byrne recorded his maiden victory in 2002.
Victory for Redding is his first win since claiming the Moto2 British Grand Prix at Silverstone six years ago, racing for Marc VDS in his memorable wolf helmet.
“This is massive,” said the Be Wiser Ducati rider, making it five consecutive wins for the Paul Bird Motorsport team following Josh Brookes’ double at Oulton Park. “I believe in myself again. It’s something I’ve found difficult to do in recent years. I told everyone that I should be winning at Donington, so I didn’t look at it as pressure because I felt good. That last bit of fire helped me to make that lunge at the end of Race 2.”
Perhaps Redding’s smartest moment was knowing he had to cross the finish line first as rain began to fall in Race 2, threatening a red flag and final result.
“Tommy (Bridewell) put his hand up but it was hardly raining. I was thinking to myself, ‘They’re going to stop the race and it’ll be over, I’ve got to have a go’. I went for it at the last moment and knew I’d have the win. I got past just as we passed two thirds’ distance. The win was mine. I’m very happy because we left the bike the same this weekend, we didn’t change the setup. I’ve just got used to it.
“I messed up Q2 and had to use two tyres, but apologised to the team and went for a used tyre in Q3. I knew I could do it with the bike we had, we didn’t need to change anything. It’s moving around a lot but I’m comfortable with it.”
Redding dedicated his success to a friend tragically killed in a road accident during the Oulton Park race weekend: “He was a really good friend when we grew up. We’d lost contact recently but I know he was on my shoulder here.”
Redding heads the standings by six points, with his 16 podium credits also being more than any other rider. His next stop is the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in Kent.
“I’ve never done Brands. It’s more like Oulton Park, with the barriers up close. If I can come out of it with a couple of podiums, I’ll be happy.”
Redding to wildcard in World Superbikes
Redding will make his World Superbike debut as a wildcard on July’s Donington weekend. His PBM-run Ducati Panigale V4 R will run in full WorldSBK specification with electronic aids.
“In our contract we have an offer to do a World Superbike wildcard,” rider manager Michael Bartholemy tells MCN. “We’re pleased to say we will take up the offer at Donington with all of the British fans. I look forward to it, especially after what Scott has done this weekend!”
Bartholemy also touched on Redding’s leg-breaking, pre-season crash while training on a supermoto bike in Spain.
“It was a shock moment, he was not good. He had a great operation in Barcelona but it was a tough time. Even now he is still suffering a bit."
Race 1: Redding becomes 50th BSB winner with maiden BSB victory
Scott Redding clinched his maiden Bennetts British Superbike Championship victory at Donington Park on Saturday, thus becoming the 50th different winner since the modern-day version of the championship began in 1996.
From second on the grid, the Be Wiser Ducati rider led home an almost race-long four-bike train. In the process, the 26-year-old and former MotoGP man clinched his first BSB victory at the same track on which in 2008 he became the youngest rider in history to win a motorcycle Grand Prix, at the time just 15 when he claimed the 125cc race. On this occasion in 2019, the shorter National Circuit was in operation.
With Redding having made it 50 BSB winners and four from the opening five races this season, his achievement comes at the same Leicestershire venue where Niall Mackenzie became the first victor on 31st March 1996, riding the iconic Cadbury’s Boost Yamaha.
Tarran Mackenzie’s second place ensured the McAMS Yamaha rider is now the sole championship leader heading into two more races on Sunday. Third was Honda Racing’s Xavi Fores, the former World Superbike rider claiming the first Honda podium of the campaign and his first in the British series.
Fourth was Oxford Racing’s Tommy Bridewell after leading for much of the race, at present electing not to run the new swingarm being used by the PBM-run Be Wiser Ducati team. Jason O’Halloran was fifth on the second McAMS bike while Hector Barbera impressed in sixth position for Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki, subbing for the injured Ben Currie and despite this being the Spaniard’s first weekend on a BSB-specification Superbike without any electronic riding aids.
A notable retirement was Oulton Park double winner and today’s pole-sitter Josh Brookes, who highsided in spectacular fashion exiting the final chicane early in Race 1. Thankfully, the Australian was not struck by those following and escaped injury.
Not starting was RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki rider Ryan Vickers. Having raised eyebrows up to this point, not least in Friday practice when he was a front-runner, the reigning National Superstock 600 Champion was suffered a broken collarbone when he crashed at Redgate corner in qualifying.
As fastest laps from Race 1 make up the grid for Race 2, Saturday’s first of two encounters will see a remarkable starting order of Bridewell, Fores, Barbera, Mackenzie, Christian Iddon and O’Halloran on the front two rows. Brookes will start seventh while Saturday winner Redding will set off from eighth spot.
Sunday’s live action will come from 1pm on Quest TV and Eurosport Player. All support races will be shown live on Eurosport Player across the day.
Continuing the varied start to this year’s Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Keith Farmer topped the timesheets at the end of Friday’s opening two practice sessions for the third round of the season at Donington Park.
So far in 2019, three riders have won across the opening four races as Josh Elliot, Tarran Mackenzie and Josh Brookes have all celebrated success. The chances for at least a fourth different winner look likely this weekend, in what is a triple-header with three races on Donington’s National Circuit. Incidentally, the next first-time winner will become the 50th rider to win a BSB race since the modern version of the championship and its record books began at the start of 1996.
At the circuit where he made Grand Prix racing history by becoming the then youngest ever winner in 2008, Scott Redding topped this morning’s first session. His time was bettered by Farmer who led in the afternoon, with a 1:06.475 putting the Tyco BMW man ahead of Be Wiser Ducati’s Brookes and Redding. Joint championship leader Tommy Bridewell was fourth for Oxford Racing Ducati while a major surprise in the top five was Hector Barbera, the former 125 and 250 Grand Prix winner placing fifth quickest as he subs for the injured Ben Currie at Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki.
Luke Mossey was sixth for OMG Racing on the Suzuki, while Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) shares the championship leader with Bridewell; he ended the day eighth, recovering from a small crash at the Craner Curves in the opening session. There was also an incident for Elliot (OMG Racing Suzuki), meaning two of the season’s three winners crashed today, as he ended proceedings in 16th place.
Fresh from his Superstock success in the North West 200, Peter Hickman was eighth for Smiths BMW as the top ten was completed by Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) and Luke Stapleford (Buildbase Suzuki). Mackenzie’s team-mate Jason O’Halloran was 11th, having revealed a fractured shoulder after the last outing at Oulton Park, was Honda Racing’s Xavi Fores peaked at seventh in FP1 and was 12th in FP2.
On the shorter National Circuit, 18 riders were covered by less than a second. BSB Race 1 will follow Datatag Extreme Qualifying on Saturday, while Races 2 and 3 will come on Sunday. TV times can be found on the homepage of the BSB website.