The final round of the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship takes place at Brands Hatch this Redding & Brookes weekend with Be Wiser Ducati riders Scott Redding or Josh Brookes hoping to emerge as champion.
Ex MotoGP star Redding leads his Australian team-mate by 28 points going into the final three races of the season and the Gloucestershire ace is determined to seal the title at his first attempt in his farewell meeting for Paul Bird’s Penrith-based team as he moves into World Superbikes for 2020.
Redding has won all four races in the title-deciding Showdown so far with doubles at Assen and Donington Park to take his winning tally to 11 races for the season on the factory-supported Be Wiser Ducati Panigale V4 R. He made his debut at the Brands Hatch GP circuit earlier this season and posted a third-place finish following a tyre gamble which didn’t work out in the opening race.
Seven-times race winner this season, Brookes, meanwhile, has certainly not given up on the crown which he last won back in 2015 and arrives at a track where he has taken victory an incredible 14 times, including a superb double when round four of this year’s series took place back in June.
Indeed, Brookes has won five out of the last eight races around the Brands Hatch GP track and will be hoping that form continues so he can take the fight to Redding whilst seeing off the challenge of the only other rider who can win the title, Tommy Bridewell, who is 37 points adrift of the Aussie, and 65 behind four times GP winner Redding.
Mathematically, Bridewell, aboard another Ducati, must effectively win all three races and both Be Wiser Ducatis suffer serious bad luck if he’s to deny the PBM team their seventh BSB title in what will be loyal title sponsor Be Wiser’s final meeting after a four-year association with PBM too.
75 points are up for grabs in the three races, one on Saturday and two on Sunday which is expected to draw massive crowds to the Kent track to witness another scintillating climax to the season.
Scott Redding: “It’s hard to believe it’s the final round of the season at Brands Hatch but I’m looking Brookes & Reddingforward to it as the championship is now on the line. I really enjoyed racing there earlier in the season and I like the track a lot so I know the second time will be better. Hopefully the weather will be kind and let’s just see how things work out in the three races to see if we can bring this championship home.”
Josh Brookes: “Obviously Brands Hatch is a great circuit for me so I’m looking forward to the final round. The points difference requires me to just go out there and ride my best and not put too much focus on the championship. My plan is simple and that’s to win some races and put pressure on Scott as I don’t feel there is any on me. I’ve been around this paddock long enough to know this final round at Brands always throws up a surprise or two so let’s see what happens!”
Johnny Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator: “Obviously everyone at Be Wiser Ducati is very excited for the final round as we’ve put ourselves in a really strong position to win the championship. But we go there knowing anything can happen, so we are preparing exactly in the manner as we have done for the previous 11 rounds. The target as always is to try and win but we might have to use our heads given the points both riders have over Tommy in third. Josh really needs race wins to close the gap to Scott, whereas Scott can afford to box clever and settle for podiums. No matter what the outcome, both of our riders have a been a pleasure to work with this year and the results speak for themselves. Let’s hope we can go out on a high and give Be Wiser something to remember us by!”
Under various guises, the PBM team have won the British Superbike Championship on six previous occasions. Two as MonsterMob Ducati with Steve Hislop in 2002 and Shane Byrne in 2003, twice as Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki in 2012 and 2004 with Byrne and Shakey also winning for Be Wiser Ducati in 2016 and 2017 to make them the most successful team in the recent history of the series.
There is live action on television with Datatag Extreme Qualifying on Saturday followed by race one at 16.00 with both of Sunday’s races screened live also on Eurosport at 12:45 and 16:00. Highlights throughout the week will be repeated on both Eurosport and ITV4.
For further information, please visit the team’s website, www.pbmuk.net and the official website of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship www.britishsuperbike.com.
Pictures (courtesy of Double Red Photographic): Scott Redding and Josh Brookes plan to square off for the British Superbike Championship crown.