2019 British Superbike Championship
Round Ten – Assen – Sunday / Report
Images by David Yeomans
Scott Redding did the double at Assen on the weekend to push his way into the British Superbike Championship lead by 14-points over Josh Brookes.
A good start to the weekend by Tom Toparis in the Dickies British Supersport on Saturday unfortunately was followed up a DNF on Syunday.
Max Stauffer took seventh in the first International Junior Supersport race of the weekend – maching his qualifying result – and with improved confidence in the second bout looked set to challenge for a podium, but unfortunately crashed out with two laps to run.
British Superbike Race 1
Scott Redding hit the front early in the first bout ahead of Luke Stapleford, Tommy Bridewell and Josh Brookes. Bridewell was determined to move into second and did so by the end of the opening lap.
A lap later Ryan Vickers crashed out heavily which saw the BMW Safety Car deployed at the start of the fourth lap. The pack formed up behind with Redding, Bridewell, Stapleford and Brookes first in line with the race resuming on lap six.
Bridewell was pushing hard to take on Redding but on the ninth lap he reached his limit, crashing out at turn nine, with Christian Iddon also falling at the same corner, both riders were unhurt.
Redding broke from the pack at the front of the field, leaving Brookes embroiled in a huge battle for second with Showdown spoilers Stapleford and Jason O’Halloran who had hunted down the pair ahead of him.
By lap 14 the scrap had really intensified with Stapleford making a move on Brookes, only for the Australian to strike straight back to regain the position. As the laps counted down the trio in the battle for second were inseparable and on the penultimate lap Stapleford had the edge over Brookes and O’Halloran.
Brookes still had more fight left though and on the final lap he dived back into second place and as Stapleford drifted slightly wide, O’Halloran saw his opportunity and he was into third for McAMS Yamaha.
As Redding took the flag to claim his eighth win of the season ahead of Brookes, O’Halloran became the 12 different podium finisher of the season ahead of Stapleford, who scored his best result of the season for Buildbase Suzuki.
Xavi Forés was fifth for Honda Racing ahead of Showdown contenders Danny Buchan, Tarran Mackenzie and Peter Hickman who completed the top eight ahead of Bradley Ray and Hector Barbera.
Australian Ben Currie finished Race 1 in 15th.
British Superbike Race 2
Luke Stapleford launched his Buildbase Suzuki off the line to lead the pack into turn one ahead of Redding, Tommy Bridewell and Brookes as the second race of the Assen BSB weekend got underway. Brookes, the 2015 champion, was instantly on the attack and he moved into third after pushing past the Oxford Racing Ducati of Tommy Bridewell.
The pack was inseparable but a mistake from Stapleford exiting the final chicane on the third lap scattered the pack and it gave Bridewell the opportunity he needed to move into second with Brookes and Redding then hunting him down.
A lap later and a determined Brookes captured the lead with Stapleford separating the Be Wiser Ducati teammates with Jason O’Halloran and Danny Buchan also in close contention.
By lap seven Redding had made a decisive move into second and had Brookes in his sights before taking the lead a lap later with a dive down the inside. From there Redding tried to make a break, but he was hounded by Brookes.
Bridewell had his sights set on a podium to make amends for his crash in the opening race and by lap ten he had moved into third, to push Stapleford back down into fourth on the Buildbase Suzuki.
Redding then edged out his advantage, but the battle for second was becoming increasingly fierce; Brookes was holding off Bridewell, Buchan and Stapleford but with two laps remaining the Australian was under attack.
On lap 17 Bridewell moved into second and that pushed Brookes slightly off line, which gave Buchan the chance he needed to force through into third for FS-3 Racing Kawasaki. Despite his best counterattack, Brookes couldn’t regain the positions and he missed out on the podium by 0.311s, leaving Assen 14 points adrift of Redding in the standings.
Bridewell and Buchan scored their first podium finishes of the Showdown in the second race with Stapleford again just missing out after his best weekend of the season so far in fifth.
Honda Racing’s Xavi Forés led the next pack home to the chequered flag to hold off race one podium finisher O’Halloran and Showdown contender Peter Hickman in eighth. Dan Linfoot and Bradley Ray completed the top ten with Tarran Mackenzie ending a tough weekend in 13th.
Ben Currie had to settle for 17th in Race 2, matching his qualifying result, after 15th in Race 1.
Bennetts British Superbike Race One & Two Results