2019 British Superbike Championship
Round Six – Snetterton
Scott Redding has proven unstoppable across both BSB Superbike races at Snetterton, with Australian Josh Brookes hot on his heels. Redding claimed both wins and Brookes was regulated to runner-up in each race for a Ducati 1-2, with MacKenzie and Bridewell sharing the final podium positions. Redding leads the standings, with Josh Brookes now three-points off Bridewell in third.
Jason O’Halloran took ninth in Race 1, however a crash in Race 2 delivered a DNF result, and made for his third crash of the weekend. Ben Currie returned from injury and laid claim to 19th in Race 1, however was directed not to take part in Race 2 due to pain from his injury, with recovery ongoing.
Jack Kennedy took the Supersport Sprint win ahead of Brad Jones and Alastair Seeley, while the feature race saw Rob Guiver claim the win from Sean Nearv and Josh Day. Jack Kennedy leads the Supersport standings to Thruxton.
Billy McConnell also made a strong return to the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 series claiming fourth despite his lengthy lay-off and surgeries, with fellow Aussie Levi Day happy coming home in seventh. Richard Cooper took the race win from Lee Jackson and Taylor Mackenzie. Richard Cooper leads the standings, with Day 10th and McConnell 14th.
Superbikes Race 1
At the start of the race one Tarran Mackenzie got an incredible launch off the line to lead the pack on the opening lap ahead of Brookes and Redding with Tommy Bridewell in fourth. The rider was not happy to settle where he was though and was instantly on the attack, moving ahead of Redding into Agostini for the first time.
On the fourth lap Bridewell had moved into second with a decisive dive down the inside at Riches, pushing Brookes back into third. At the front, Bridewell claimed the lead ahead of Mackenzie as Redding moved into third. Bridewell tried to make a break from the pack but he made a mistake into Agostini a lap later and crashed out unhurt.
Redding had cut through into second and with Bridewell out of the race he captured the race lead, but behind there was an intense battle between Brookes and Mackenzie with the pair trading blows for several laps. The fight between the pair gave Redding the opportunity to edge out a gap, but Brookes was then able to get the better of Mackenzie and keep him behind over the closing stages.
Danny Buchan maintained his position inside the top six in the standings with a fourth place, but the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki rider had a lonely end to the race. However behind him there was a scrap between the Honda Racing pairing; Xavi Forés and Andrew Irwin colliding on the final lap, but both formation flying to the finish line with the Spaniard having the edge at the chequered flag.
Peter Hickman was also in the group and he held off Luke Mossey for seventh place ahead of Jason O’Halloran who had a strong race to carve through the field from his seventh row start on the second McAMS Yamaha. Christian Iddon completed the top ten, passing his teammate Michael Laverty in the final moments of the race on his return after his Knockhill injury.
Superbikes Race 2
In race two Brookes had the perfect start off the line to lead the pack into Riches for the first time ahead of Redding, Bridewell and Mackenzie. Jason O’Halloran meanwhile had also made a good start to move into fifth on the second of the McAMS Yamahas. The Australian though crashed out on the fourth lap at Brundle, ending his race prematurely.
At the front Brookes held the lead until there were just three laps remaining as Redding made a dive down the inside on the brakes at the end of the Bentley Straight to take the lead. The race one winner was able to hold off his Be Wiser Ducati teammate to the finish line.
However it was a double disaster for Mackenzie who crashed out at Wilson on lap eleven as he bid to close down Bridewell for the final podium position. The Oxford Racing Ducati rider bounced back from his race one crash to claim third place and maintain his second place position in the championship standings ahead of Brookes.
In the battle for fourth place Irwin scored his best result of the season so far for Honda Racing, holding off Peter Hickman and Iddon who had a strong performance despite still recovering from his Knockhill injuries.
Hector Barbera had an impressive performance on his first visit to Snetterton on the Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki, taking the chequered flag ahead of Forés who maintained his position inside the top six in the overall standings.
Michael Laverty and Luke Mossey completed the top ten, whilst Buchan and Josh Elliott failed to score points after both crashing in individual incidents on the sighting lap.
“I felt better with the bike in race two, I felt more comfortable and more confident but I didn’t know whether I could be faster. Then when I passed Josh I went faster, so I learnt I need to believe in myself a bit more. I tried to see what the other guys were doing with the tyres in the race as I didn’t want to break away and then have an issue later on. Again, I’m still learning, I’m still a rookie in this class and I don’t know the tracks. I’m really happy and I had a wicked time this weekend the fans have been amazing, we’ve had great fun, the reception was amazing. To come back with a pole and two race wins – I can’t take much more. To be a Monster athlete and for them to have an event here and for me to win the Race of Aces Trophy just puts the icing on the cake really.”
Josh Brookes 2-2
“I felt really strong at the end of the first race and whilst I was being a little bit conservative in the early stages, the battle I had with Tarran Mackenzie cost both of us time and it allowed Scott to make a bit of a break. By the time I got up to second, it was too big a gap to bridge but it was a good start to the day. We made a slight change in between races and it allowed me to push to the limit so with a good start, I felt comfortable out front. I felt like I was controlling the race well but when Scott came by, he seemed to have just a little bit in reserve and had enough of a gap so I couldn’t get back by. Given where I was on Friday, I’ve got to be happy with two second place finishes, so we’ll work hard to find that bit extra to try and get back on the top step at the next round.”
Andrew Irwin scored his best result so far this season, closing his gap to the top-six thanks to a 5-4 result, achieving his goal of dual top-six results.
Andrew Irwin 5-4
“I keep saying I want two-top sixes near enough every round we’ve been to, it’s what I wanted and we’re coming away from here with a fifth and fourth, which is a step in the right direction! At Knockhill we finished the last race in fifth and we are starting to be where we belong inside the top-six, and hopefully we can continue to close the gap to the Showdown. We took six points out of Xavi this weekend, so we go to Thruxton looking to take another set of points out of him to try and close that down. I’m really happy, the team are working so hard and the Fireblade is working well, so I’m pleased with the progress and the fourth place finish today!”
Hickman remains in seventh place in the overall standings but has made up ground towards Xavi Fores who holds sixth position, with a crash during qualifying a rare mistake, which was then followed up with strong results in a seventh and fifth across the two races.
Peter Hickman 7-5
“Overall, it’s been a strong weekend and after being in the top three for most of practice, it was a real shame I made a small mistake in qualifying as it cost me a second row start at least. We’re still having an issue with getting the bike stopped and we’re still running a stock engine so it was hard going in both races and although seventh in race one was a good effort, I knew I could improve upon it in race two. I was further back on the grid, but I made a good start and am really pleased to have finished fifth and also close in a little bit on Fores in sixth. Snetterton has never been one of my best circuits but the next two rounds are Thruxton and Cadwell, places I really enjoy and go well at so I’m looking to take full advantage and claw back the deficit I currently have.”
Xavi Forés collected valuable points with sixth in Race 1 and eighth in Race 2, holding onto sixth in the standings.
Xavi Forés 6-8
“To be honest this weekend has been harder than I expected; I like the track and enjoyed my laps but honestly from the first day I had a small issue with the bike and was never able to solve it, and for the races it was not so easy to manage. Race 1 I was trying to defend my position and had a good battle with Andrew, but at the end I got some important points and finished in the top-six. I did expect a little more and especially in the second race, but the first part was really, really bad for me, I never felt a good grip on the apexes, especially in the first ten laps. After that I was able to manage a little more and able to almost have the same pace as the top-four, but unfortunately it was too late and sometimes it’s quite frustrating when you lose so much gap at the start. But anyway, sixth and eighth isn’t so bad for my first time here in Snetterton and I am looking forward to Thruxton in order to keep the Showdown still alive! I want to say thanks to all the team, we made a good job inside the box and see you at Thruxton!”
Mackenzie took a spot on the podium in Race 1 and got a good start in Race 2 before the Ducatis started to pull away in the early stages. Initially trying to save his tyre, the 23-year-old began to close the gap but lost the rear at Wilson on lap 11.
Tarran Mackenzie 3- DNF
“Race one was obviously really good. I ended up third and felt like I put together a good race in the first two thirds, but the last third was a bit difficult. When I saw Tommy went out it was hard to go with the two PBM bikes so I settled for third. In race two I didn’t get the best of starts, held my position in fourth and the Ducatis got away a bit. I was trying hard to catch them and setting quite a good pace. I was slowly catching them towards the end, but ended up losing the rear and then losing the front from that. I feel like I’m riding really well, it was another solid weekend and we were in the top two for a lot of it. I’m really happy, to be honest. Finishing fourth would be OK but I’d rather finish third for podium points. I’ll keep trying and come back at Thruxton even stronger.”
Bad luck awaited Australian rider Jason O’Halloran when he endured three crashes at Snetterton, the first two in practice and open qualifying, while ninth in Race 1 from the seventh row was a good result. Unfortunately in Race 2 a third row start saw O’Halloran move up to fifth only to crash out.
Jason O’Halloran 9 – DNF
“I’m OK, I’ve got a little bit of an injury on my left hand where you can see the bone on my knuckle but other than that I’m alright. Thanks to the guys at the medical centre for cleaning it up and patching it up. I was happy with the first race, we haven’t been able to do a lot of laps this weekend so to get 16 laps under our belt was really beneficial. We came from 21st to ninth and kept fighting all the way to the end. We made some changes for race two and, starting from a better position, we got away well and I was feeling comfortable in fifth. All was looking good until I highsided out! We’ve a few things to work on for Thruxton and look for a clean smooth weekend. We’ve go the pace, the potential is there with both me and the bike, we’ve just got to have a clean smooth weekend and it’ll come together.”
Australian Ben Currie also made his return from injury, riding home to 19th in Race 1, but was advised by the team manager not to race in the second race due to the pain he was suffering in his foot.
“I didn’t opt not to race I was told not to. Sorry to my sponsors!”
Snetterton Superbike Results