BSB: Scott Redding takes control with double at Donington
As Scott Redding departed Donington a double winner on Sunday, the Bennetts British Superbike Championship had a familiar feeling about it: the MotoGP specialist had again triumphed on the track where he became the youngest ever GP winner 11 years earlier.
At the same time, with teammate Brookes 28 points in arrears but with 75 left on the table, some pondered a final twist in the tale at the championship finale at Brands Hatch in 10 days time.
Earlier in the season paddock wags had surmised that Redding could control proceedings once into The Showdown, thanks to his knowledge of Assen, Donington and Brands. And sure enough, the Be Wiser Ducati man has excelled in all four Showdown races so far. It’s looking good for the Gloucestershire rider.
He remains calm but realistic. "Nerves?" he asked after topping the fifth podium 'lock-out' of 2019 for the Ducati Panigale V4R.
"Nerves are something I dealt with many years ago. I actually feel more comfortable now. A lot of people said this weekend: 'What’s wrong with you? Why are you so quiet and relaxed?' I just feel comfortable. Pressure and nerves only come when you doubt you can achieve your goal.
"In the second race I had a small problem with the gearshift and was missing a lot of gears. My target was to bring the bike home. I had the pace to win and held it together. Fair play to Josh: he pushed me a lot more in Race 2."
Redding’s latest double means he has won all five BSB races at Donington this year. In the second of Sunday’s races, the PBM man cleverly slowed during a Safety Car period in order to open up a gap, then pushed hard to generate more heat in his tyres and retake the lead as the race restarted.
"I’m not the sharpest knife in the box but sometimes I have good ideas which work!” Redding said. "Josh and Tommy (Bridewell) are very good at building up tyre temperature but I struggle with it.
"I thought, 'What can I do?' Under the Safety Car I backed up and then pushed through some corners to build temperature. It worked. Josh struggled at Turn 1 whereas I was pretty good. It was a weak point for me so I tried to solve it. I believe I did the best I could.
It wasn’t an ideal day for teammate Brookes but the 46-time BSB race winner once again gave his brutally honest and considered take on the weekend.
"I always give it everything," the Australian said after third in Race 1 and second in Race 2. "Sometimes it’s easier to chase than to lead. I enjoyed trying to catch Scott but his performance has been superior all weekend.
"When you’re trying to win a championship you have to perform better and lift the game. I need to be doing better."