|Tommy Bridewell kicks off his Showdown with a masterful double win at Oulton Park
|• Tommy Bridewell gets his first double British Superbike win
• Josh Brookes qualifies on pole and scores two second place finishes
• Christian Iddon claims a podium finish in Race 1
The opening British Superbike Showdown round provided great racing for race fans at Oulton Park, with Tommy Bridewell winning both races on Sunday, his first ever double win for the Oxford Products Racing Ducati team.
Josh Brookes lined up for the opening race at Oulton Park, the first of the Showdown, at the front of the grid after claiming his first pole position of the season earlier in the day.
As the lights went out the VisionTrack Ducati rider slotted in behind Jason O’Halloran briefly before taking the lead to complete his first lap ahead of the McAMS Yamaha duo of O’Halloran and Tarran Mackenzie, and Brookes’ own teammate Christian Iddon.
Lap 2 saw O’Halloran pass Brookes to take the lead, while Iddon had passed Mackenzie for third. And as the riders started Lap 3 Tommy Bridewell was up into seventh on the Oxford Products Racing Ducati, having started all the way back in 15th after a poor qualifying session where he suffered a technical fault. Brookes then retook the lead in to Hislop’s, while Iddon was demoted back to fourth by Mackenzie.
Lap 5 saw Gino Rea crash out on his Buildbase Suzuki, promoting Bridewell to sixth, while Brookes and O’Halloran briefly swapped positions at the front.
Riders were holding station up to Lap 10, where less than a second separated Brookes, O’Halloran, Iddon and Mackenzie, until O’Halloran pounced on Brookes into Clay Hill to snatch the lead.
Lap 12 saw Mackenzie pass Iddon for third until drama struck when championship leader O’Halloran crashed out. Brookes was promoted to the lead only to have Mackenzie pass him on the final lap and take the chequered flag, with VisionTrack Ducati teammates Brookes and Iddon claiming second and third respectively, the latter crossing the line just 0.024s ahead of FS-3 Kawasaki's Lee Jackson.
Bridewell finished his race in sixth. But he had a much-improved grid position for the first race on Sunday in sixth. Brookes starts just ahead in fifth, while Iddon lines up on the front row in second place, behind pole sitter O’Halloran.
Bridewell had started his race from 6th on the grid but dropped three places on his opening lap, but after running off the track on Lap 4 he re-joined the race all the way down in thirteenth position.
By half race distance the Oxford Products Racing Ducati rider had climbed back up to seventh position. And on Lap 12 he passed Jackson to take sixth before passing FHO Racing’s Peter Hickman at the start of the following lap to move up into fifth.
Brookes was next to be passed by Bridewell before he got the better of fellow VisionTrack Ducati rider Iddon for third on the penultimate lap. Moments later Bridewell passed Mackenzie at Island for second, before making a move on Mackenzie’s teammate O’Halloran at Old Hall and going on to claim a fantastic victory, at the track where he got his very first win for the Oxford Products Racing Ducati team.
Sadly, the race was not one to celebrate for the VisionTrack Ducati team. Iddon and Brookes had been running at the sharp end in second and third respectively in a strong race for the duo following yesterday’s podium success. But Brookes crashed out on the last lap at Druids, and Iddon finished just off the podium in fourth.
Bridewell posted the fastest lap of the race so will start the final race of the weekend from pole and will be joined on the front row by Brookes who starts from third position, while Iddon will line up on Row 4 in eleventh.
After winning the first of the two races on Sunday Bridewell lined up on pole on his Oxford Products Racing Ducati. A great start saw him take the lead into the first corner and he immediately pulled a gap out at the front, which he had extended to six and half seconds by half race distance.
Bridewell was dominant out at front and raced on towards the chequered flag to take a masterful second win of the day to the delight of his team and fans.
Brookes made it a Ducati one-two after bringing his VisionTrack Ducati home in second place ahead of a close pack of riders to score his second podium finish of the weekend.
Iddon was lucky to stay on his bike after being forced off track mid race but regrouped to cross the line in eleventh place. But all three Ducati riders gained points on O’Halloran as he suffered a second crash of the weekend and relinquished his championship lead to his teammate Mackenzie.
Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati #46)
Race 1, 6th – Race 2, 1st – Race 3, 1st
“So proud of the team, so proud of myself, so proud of everyone that supports me. What can I say, my first ever British Superbike double win. I am smiling but there’s obviously that slight disappointment because I felt I had the pace to do the triple. Massive thanks to Ducati Corse for producing a spectacular machine and credit to Oxford Products Racing Ducati for giving me a bike that allows me to win. I have the physical part of it, but I also get the enjoyable bit. So proud of everyone involved. Hard bit is I don’t get much time to recover. Three days back at home, back on my tractor tomorrow, going to put my topper on the back and go cut some grass. Back to serious work next Friday at Donington.”
Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati #25)
Race 1, 2nd – Race 2, DNF – Race 3, 2nd
“To be fair we’ve had what is quite a good weekend. Second in the first race, just being overtaken on the last lap was a bit heart-wrenching and then it got even worse, the first race on Sunday trying to maintain my speed at the end of the race to avoid the chance of being attacked on the last lap I found myself losing the front at Druids on the last lap. I can’t help but feel disappointed by that mistake but that is racing we’ve got to expect at some point that these things can happen. And then to fight back in the last race with a strong second, Tommy rode exceptional, I can’t take anything away from him. I just had the job of trying to fight for second. I had attacks from people and plenty of moments where the bike was out of shape and trying to have me off even. But managed to hold it all together and bring it home in second. Good for the team, good for the sponsors and hopefully good for the fans. That gives us some positive energy to go into Donington now in just a few days’ time.”
Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati #21)
Race 1, 3rd – Race 2, 4th – Race 3, 11th
“We’ve had a funny weekend. Started off with a podium in the first race which was really good. A hard-fought podium which was nice and close to the win. The first race on Sunday we finished fourth, but it was close. Just didn’t have what I needed at the end of the race, I’ve been struggling a lot with brakes this weekend and the first race today was the worst that we’ve had it. Really inconsistent, and it’s hard to push to the absolute when it’s like that because you’re not sure what’s going to happen every time you come into a corner. Then the final race, we had a good start from eleventh on the grid, I was a long way back. Made good progress forwards, obviously Tommy was away. Josh was the pace setter in our group. I could see at a point he started to reduce the rhythm, so I figured it was my time to push forward, we were about four to go. I made a move on Tarran, and he made a move back and his move was a bit stronger than mine and had me into the barrier. I managed to keep the bike up, we salvaged four very valuable points. In regard to the championship, we’ve reduced the gap to the front this weekend which is the most important thing but it’s what could have and should have been. It’s mighty frustrating to put all that effort in and come out with what we’ve come out with but that’s the nature of the beast. We get that in racing. Everyone has their fortunate situations and their misfortune, and we were a bit unfortunate in that last one. I’m glad that I had good pace this weekend, we’ll take that as a positive. I feel back to where we’ve been previously, and the fight is there to take this all the way.”