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Glory to the new born King: Bennetts BSB review

Saturday, December 28 2019

There was something special in the air ahead of this year's Bennetts British Superbike Championship as the championship edged toward a new era with a revitalised cast of characters. Gone were Leon Haslam and Shane 'Shakey' Byrne, but it was larger than life MotoGP convert Scott Redding who took this year's title, and there was scope for the championship's next generation of stars to make their mark too.

The opening round on the Silverstone National circuit was somewhat atypical of how the season would pan out as the McAMS Yamahas of Jason O'Halloran and Tarran Mackenzie seemed to be the bikes to beat early on. O'Halloran and Mackenzie clashed in the first race with the latter winning on the road before receiving a penalty for his role in the incident, opening things up for Suzuki's Josh Elliot to claim a first BSB win. Mackenzie won race two to make amends, whilst Be Wiser Ducati's Scott Redding and Josh Brookes claimed just one third place finish and three retirements between them. That would all change, and spectacularly.

Brookes was the first of the two Ducati aces to win, claiming an emphatic double next time out at Oulton Park before Redding announced himself on the BSB stage with a bang when he claimed all three wins at the new-for-2019 National circuit triple-header at Donington Park. The two team-mates would go on to share the lion's share of the victories between then and the end of the season with Redding taking four more ahead of the championship Showdown, whilst Brookes added another five in the same period.

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Redding battles Bridewell and Mackenzie at Donington Park. Image credit Double Red.

Other riders to win in the main part of the season were Honda's Andrew Irwin and Danny Buchan who claimed two victories on the way to a place in the Showdown. Redding, Brookes, Buchan and Mackenzie were joined in the Showdown by the consistent Peter Hickman and Tommy Bridewell who won the last race of the main season at Oulton Park.

As the Showdown got underway it was Redding that seized the initiative at the TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands, the site of one of his two MotoGP podium finishes. Redding won both races at the Dutch venue as Brookes managed just a second place and a fourth. Australia's Brookes managed two podiums at the next event at Donington Park, but even that wasn't enough as Redding stormed to another brace of victories to complete his domination of the East Midlands venue in 2019.

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Redding takes to the podium at Assen with Bridewell and Buchan alongside. Image credit Double Red.

As the championship returned to Brands Hatch for the last meeting of the year in October, Redding benefitted from a commanding lead at the top of the table from Brookes with Bridwell positioned as the outsider.

Brookes did absolutely everything he could at Brands Hatch to beat his team mate, claiming all three wins on the Grand Prix circuit. It wasn't quite to be though as Redding managed two thirds and a second as the top-three championship rivals shared the podium in each race.

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Consistent finishes saw Redding scoop the biggest prize in UK motorcycle racing. Image credit Double Red.

Redding's stunning switch to BSB was a scintillating debut to match any other, and he's rapidly departed once more to the world stage where you'll be able to see him race in the FIM Superbike World Championship at Donington Park next season.

Brookes will return to BSB once more in 2020 with Christian Iddon lining up as his team mate on the second Be Wiser Ducati for what is certain to be another corking year.

The Bennetts British Superbike Championship is back at MSV circuits for several rounds in 2020 and tickets are on sale now. Oulton Park hosts the second round of the series on May 1-3 before the championship moves to Donington Park's National circuit on 22-24 May (triple header). Snetterton is next on 19-21 June followed by a trip to the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on 24-26 July. Cadwell Park's famous 'Party in the Park' takes place on 21-23 August with Oulton Park on 4-6 September (triple header). The next visit is to Donington Park's Grand Prix circuit on 2-4 October and the 2020 champion will be crowned at the season finale on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit (triple header) on 16-18 October.