Josh Brookes crashed out of first place in the final race of the British Superbikes ‘main season’. The Australian and teammate Scott Redding are the two favourites to take the British Superbike crown in 2019. Redding, the ex MotoGP rider has admitted he is struggling on these ‘typically very british’ tracks like Oulton and Cadwell Park but he believes he has the outright pace at the more GP style tracks like Snetterton.
Both Brookes and Redding have secured the top 2 spots in the showdown, just 3 points between them going into the final 3 rounds. These final 3 rounds consist of Assen, A GP track Scott finished second at world level. Donington, an ex GP track that Scott won at world level and Brands Hatch which is a bit in-between. Scott admitted on the Shakey Show podcast that riders like Brookes have the advantage at places like Oulton. Scott talked about an ‘energy saving riding style’ they have developed in the British championship.
This weekend however, proved himself wrong. Josh did take pole and victory in race 1 but Redding wasn’t far behind with just 0.3s off on fastest lap for both sessions. Race 2 saw Scott take the win ahead of Brookes in P2, the first sign that Scott is adapting to the more challenging circuits.
The final race saw Brookes back out in the lead, setting lap times under the lap record. That lead came to an abrupt end on lap 11 when Brookes made a mistake coming into the famous Shell Oils hairpin. Brookes lost the front of the bike under braking and slid into the tyre wall.
Is this the championship decided?
With Josh Brookes clearly stronger on tracks like Cadwell and Oulton and Scott having the edge at places like Snetterton and Donington, does this mean that the championship is all but decided? Well…. No!
Of course the championship is nowhere near decided yet. 175 points are still on offer with just 3 points between them in the standings. Scott Redding has been knocked off twice this season, Leon Haslam suffered a brake failure in the championship deciding race in 2017 so clearly anything is still possible. Danny Buchan is only 34 points behind the top spot and is clearly in form at the moment. You’ve also got Tommy Bridewell who has been on the podium the same amount of times as Brookes this year. The top spot is all to play for.
Statistically Scott Redding does have the advantage over Josh Brookes coming into the final 3 rounds. Scott took all three victories at Donington last time around and Assen is a circuit Scott should have a bit more experience on. You can never count Josh Brookes out though. Over the last few years Brookes has been in the showdown every year since it’s introduction in 2010 (apart from 2016 when he didn’t race with BSB).
Hopefully we can get a thrilling end to the season!