Penultimate round of BSB gets underway
Josh Brookes was the master of all conditions at Donington Park today, topping both of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship free practice sessions for the VisionTrack Ducati team ahead of the fifth round of the season.
This will be another triple-header weekend before the series finale is staged at the Brands Hatch GP Circuit on the weekend of October 18. Heading into this penultimate round only 12-points separate the top four riders in the championship. Glenn Irwin leads Jason O’Halloran by only two-points with Josh Brookes a further eight-points behind in third. There have been an incredible eight different race winners so far this season.
Josh Brookes led the opening session at Donington by 0.241s at the chequered flag, becoming the only rider to dip into the 1m:29s lap times on his final sequence of laps, putting him ahead of Honda Racing’s Glenn and Andrew Irwin.
Christian Iddon had moved up the order in the final ten minutes, firing the second of the VisionTrack Ducatis into fourth place, just 0.006s ahead of Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW’s Héctor Barberá who had a strong end to his session.
Tommy Bridewell had a positive start to his weekend in sixth place, the Oxford Products Racing Ducati team maintaining their position ahead of the leading Rapid Fulfillment FS-3 Kawasaki of Lee Jackson, who narrowly held an advantage over teammate Danny Buchan.
Just under a second covered the top 12 riders and completing the top ten was Oulton Park double race winner Jason O’Halloran, who held off Kyle Rude as the Buildbase Suzuki rider completed the top ten.
With the weather forecast indicating potentially disruptive conditions throughout tomorrow (Saturday), a second free practice session was incorporated for Bennetts BSB, which took place in wet conditions.
Brookes was able to maintain his position at the top of the times in the first wet practice of the 2020 season and the Australian held the advantage, as teammate Iddon closed to within 0.030s at the chequered flag.
Josh Brookes – P1
“Today was actually much better than expected. I had some ideas of where we wanted to start with the bike for this weekend, but looking at the forecast we weren’t sure that we were even going to get a dry run until the race on Sunday given the forecast we had yesterday. So it was a bit of a lottery what settings we would start with and there was a bit of anxiety of which way to go but it turned out really good. The first session was dry and we tried the setting we wanted to start out with, and the bike worked well, so I was happy. We made a few changes during the session and progressed a little bit, so I was happy with that – I could start a race now with some ease because I know the bike is in a good range. The forecast rain did come and then we had another session to test the bike in wet conditions. The bike worked as good as we had planned and when the rain was coming down more at the end, I didn’t really push much because I had already set a decent time early on. For whatever condition this weekend we get, either wet or dry I feel pretty comfortable we have a setting that we can work with.”
Bridewell ended the session inside the top three for the Oxford Products Racing Ducati team as he held off the improving Jackson on the Rapid Fulfillment FS-3 Kawasaki, who again narrowly finished ahead of his teammate Buchan.
Luke Mossey was the strongest of the BMW contenders in the afternoon, holding sixth place for the Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW team ahead of championship leader Glenn Irwin for Honda Racing as he bids to defend his two point standings lead in the opening race tomorrow.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship
Donington Park, Free Practice One
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) 1m:29.768s
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) +0.241s
- Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) +0.276s
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +0.329s
- Héctor Barberá (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +0.442s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +0.448s
- Lee Jackson (Rapid Fulfillment FS-3 Kawasaki) +0.462s
- Danny Buchan (Rapid Fulfillment FS-3 Kawasaki) +0.515s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +0.656s
- Kyle Ryde (Buildbase Suzuki) +0.909s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship
Donington Park, Free Practice Two
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) 1m:47.378s
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +0.030s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +0.235s
- Lee Jackson (Rapid Fulfillment FS-3 Kawasaki) +0.805s
- Danny Buchan (Rapid Fulfillment FS-3 Kawasaki) +0.857s
- Luke Mossey (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +1.108s
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) +1.442s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +1.482s
- Kyle Ryde (Buildbase Suzuki) +1.859s
- Héctor Barberá (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +1.922s
British Superbike Championship Standings