Former MotoGP star Scott Redding put in a flawless display of riding at round three of the British superbike championship, winning all three races around Donington Park’s National circuit in a triple header weekend to shoot to the top of the points standings.
The PBM Ducati rider held off a determined Tarran Mackenzie to take his first ever BSB win in Saturday’s race, before overcoming Honda’s Xavi Fores just before a rain shower saw a premature end to Sunday’s opener. His trio was completed on Sunday afternoon, when he won dominantly to confirm his status as favourite to win the title in his first ever season of national racing competition. Redding leads fellow Ducati rider Tommy Bridewell by just six points, the Wiltshire rider posting a consistent run of a fourth and two thirds in Donington, with Mackenzie (second, fourth and fifth at Donington Park) just one more point behind.
“It feels great to be back on the top step and before the weekend I said this was the place where I needed to get a win,” said Redding, who won the 2008 British 125cc Grand Prix at Donington Park as a 15-year-old. “While that put a bit of pressure on myself, I was able to put together a good race to get the job done. It’s great for everyone in the team and after giving me the opportunity at the beginning of the year, I’m so pleased to give them a win so soon. It’s been good to have come to a circuit where we’ve all started on the same footing and I’ve enjoyed every second of it. I made a mess of the start in the race and then made a couple of mistakes but once I settled into my rhythm, I was able to reel the leaders in and to win in that manner feels phenomenal. It’s been a while since I’ve won a race and I put my heart and soul into every lap so let’s hope there’s more to come.”
While a solid weekend keeps Mackenzie in contention for the end of season Showdown (where the top six riders go head-to-head over the final three race weekends) his McAMS Yamaha team-mate Jason O’Halloran endured a tough round at Donington Park. The Australian, one of the pre-season favourites, carded a fifth place finish in Saturday’s race, but slipped back to seventh in Sunday’s opener and crashing out of race three. O’Halloran slips back to 10th in the overall standings, 26 points behind Danny Buchan in the crucial sixth place slot.
“It’s not been the easiest of weekends,” declared O’Halloran. “We’ve been chasing something all weekend, made some changes for Saturday and improved the feeling but in the first two races I struggled at the start. For the third race we made some more changes but I was quite far back on the grid which made things difficult. The bike felt much better, I had a lot more confidence on the brakes and I felt like I could ride the bike how I wanted to again. I’m really happy with that and I’ll take that away from this race as obviously a crash isn’t ideal. It’s our third DNF of the year, which isn’t what we want. I want to go fast and be at the front, I don’t want to be messing around in seventh or eighth so we have to keep pushing and looking for the feeling we are after. Once we nail that on the head I’m confident we’ll be at the front.”
There was another former MotoGP star in action at Donington Park, with Spaniard Hector Barbera standing in for the injured Ben Currie on the Carole Nash supported Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki team. The former 125cc Grand Prix world champion showed good pace all weekend and posted a sixth and eighth place finish, before crashing out of the final race.
The championship now takes a short break, to accommodate the Isle of Man TT races, before returning at Brands Hatch in Kent for the weekend of 14-16 June.