For the final time in the 2019 season (jeez it feels strange to say that), we turn to the enigmatic @PaddockChatter for his expert ‘Pub Ammo’ views on the final round at Brands Hatch. So, that’s the mic warmed up – take it away Dave!
“and now…the end is near…and so we face the final curtain…” are probably the lyrics that Frank Sinatra would’ve sung for this weekend as well as Joey Tempest warming up his vocal chords for a rousing rendition of ‘Final Countdown’!
Hallowe’en, Bonfire Night, the mention of the dreaded C word appearing in the shops already, but for BSB fans they mean nothing as there is still the not-so-small matter of the deciding round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at the home of MSVR, Brands Hatch. Three races remain to find the 2019 Champion and drama is sure to unfold at some point during the weekend…it is BSB after all!
Championship Battle Royale – Who’ll strike the deciding blow?
It’s been a faultless Showdown so far for PBM Be Wiser Ducati man Scott Redding after dominating Assen and Donington Park, leaving closest rival and teammate Josh Brookes trailing in his wake. Brookes almost certainly needs to win the first of the triple-header this weekend to put pressure on his younger, brash stablemate to discover if there is a chink in the armour of the former MotoGP star. Back in the early Summer, Redding made a tyre gamble at Brands that cost him valuable points in the regular season but since then has been the model of consistency despite the best efforts of Andy Irwin!
Brookes has been here before, though. He came into the final round two seasons ago 32 points adrift of series leader Leon Haslam but misfortune struck the Kawasaki man hard as Shane Byrne snatched his sixth BSB title from the luckless Haslam as Brookes closed to within 3 points of his second BSB crown. It is far from over…
In the Donington pre-race moody video clip sat in a grandstand, Redding said he didn’t think Josh was all that good around Brands Hatch, well… Brookes has an affinity with Brands Hatch that stretches back over many seasons winning 14 times at the Kent circuit and in 2013 winning all three races at the final round; he’s the most successful rider on the current grid around Brands Hatch as well as the lap record holder, and second overall in terms of wins to Shane Byrne. He also took maximum points back in June. Redding is the bookies favourite for the title but Brookes will be determined to make his mark from FP1 (which has just started…yes, I’m late with this… and as if to prove a point, 5 mins in and Brookes is top of the pile).
And the title isn’t the only score to be settled…
Oxford Products Ducati man Tommy Bridewell will make his 275th BSB race start this weekend and will be keen to cement third place overall from FS-3 Essex man Danny Buchan. The rest of the showdown contenders are racing for pride alone. The small matter of ‘best of the rest’, the Riders Cup, is a battle between Honda duo Andy Irwin and (WorldSBK-bound) Xavi Fores, with the Spaniard currently holding the advantage with O’Halloran and Iddon in the wings.
As for OMG Racing, it’s the final outing for the Suzuki’s this weekend before the BMWs are unleashed for 2020 and the BSB rider merry-go-round will continue into the early winter, peaking somewhat predictably around Motorcycle Live time.
Thanks for the support, hope you’ve enjoyed reading these as much as I have writing them.
May the best man win.
Catch you next season x
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