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Brookes reigns supreme as Showdown decider gets underway

Saturday, September 07 2019

A dramatic day of Bennetts British Superbike action at Oulton Park saw 2015 champion Josh Brookes take the first race of the weekend from pole position and Danny Buchan finish fourth to claim his place in the final Showdown six.

Brookes, his Be Wiser Ducati teammate Scott Redding and Ducati privateer Tommy Bridewell had already sealed their spots in the 2019 title fight, and with FS-3 Racing Kawasaki rider Buchan bagging the fourth spot there are just two more places up for grabs in tomorrow's two races.  

Three qualifying sessions this morning provided thrills and spills at every turn, with Buchan one of three riders crashing out in Q1 and fellow Showdown contenders Tarran Mackenzie and Andrew Irwin coming off in Q2 and Q3.

The drama continued in the race, with a red flag following crashes involving Dan Linfoot and Peter Hickman that caused track contamination. Neither could make the restart - a big blow for Hickman who sits just outside the Showdown six in seventh.

Bridewell led the 14-lap restart until the closing stages, when a problem with his bike ground him to a halt, dashing his hopes of a first Bennetts BSB win for himself and the team. That left Brookes to take the lead and bring home the win. Brad Ray gave a strong performance on the Buildbase Suzuki, pushing Brookes hard and finishing second for his first podium of the season, with Redding picking up third.

Brookes paid tribute to Ray for today's performance: "As the tyres started to deteriorate at the end of the race, I was thinking 'it has to be the same for everybody, it can't just be my tyres that feel this bad' so I pushed on, hoping that the feeling would be just as bad for him. And finally I was able to see a little gap on the board starting to show and just happy to bring it home. 

"Credit to him, he's obviously riding really well again himself because we've seen before how strong he can be, as recent races he's just creeping back there again, so it's impressive riding."

The order of the standings remains the same going into the final day of the Showdown decider, with Mackenzie and Andrew Irwin still hanging onto places in the all-important top six.  

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Race 1 result:

  1. Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati)
  2. Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +4.960s
  3. Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) +6.926s
  4. Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +8.838s
  5. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +9.356s
  6. Jason O'Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +15.306s
  7. Glenn Irwin (Tyco BMW) +20.348s
  8. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +20.573s
  9. Alex Olsen (Smiths Racing BMW) +22.317s
  10. Ryan Vickers (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki) +25.992s

Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Oulton Park Race 1:

  1. Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) 296 *
  2. Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) 275 *
  3. Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) 243 *
  4. Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) 204 *
  5. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 159
  6. Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) 146
  7. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 145
  8. Xavi Forés (Honda Racing) 141
  9. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 136

 *Riders in bold - confirmed in the 2019 Showdown

The Bennetts British Superbike Championship ninth-round clash continues tomorrow with two more races at Oulton Park to decide the final Showdown six who'll battle for the 2019 title. Adult tickets are £35 on the gate with reductions for teens (13-15) and seniors. Kids under 13 are FREE!