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Redding wastes no time in throwing down the gauntlet in quest to land British crown

 

Work needed: Andrew Irwin ended the day in 12 position
Work needed: Andrew Irwin ended the day in 12 position

By Roy Harris

Former MotoGP star Scott Redding stamped his authority on the first of the three Showdown meetings to determine the 2019 British Superbike champion yesterday.

The PBM Be Wiser Ducati rider was two-tenths under Leon Haslam's Assen lap record after the opening free practice sessions for the Dutch round of BSB tomorrow.

Oxford Ducati rider Tommy Bridewell ended the day second fastest almost half a second slower than Redding, with non-Championship contender Jason O'Halloran the third fastest a further three-quarters of a second back.

Glenn Irwin (Tyco BMW) had his best qualifying result of the season by finishing in third position after session one, but ended the day 11th fastest after a difficult second session. He is just behind Championship leader Josh Brookes and Christian Iddon, his Tyco BMW team-mate.

Andrew Irwin improved his time by a quarter of a second in the second session, but the Honda rider was just behind his elder brother going into today's third free practice and qualifying ahead of tomorrow's two races.

Jack Kennedy was the top Supersport runner, but was half a second behind new GP2 champion Kyle Ryde with the surprise of the day being 19-year-old Australian wildcard entry Tom Toparis, from Goulburn, New South Wales.

He was the second fastest Supersport machine, 0.656 seconds behind Kennedy.

Meanwhile, there is an interesting entry at today and tomorrow's ninth round of the AJ Plumbing Ulster Superbike series at Bishopscourt as Graeme Irwin, the former British motocross champion, will line-up on the Team #109 Kawasaki he has been campaigning in the National Superstock Championship.

His brother Ross is also in the entry, so that makes two Irwins at Assen and two at Bishopscourt.

Martin Barr has an outside chance of grabbing third in the Maxxis British Motocross MX2 Championship in the final round at Landrake tomorrow on his Crescent Yamaha.

Barr, the Bridgestone British Masters MX2 Pro champion for 2019, despite recent shoulder surgery, will head to Assen after tomorrow's race for the 73rd MX des Nations next weekend where he will join Jason Meara and Stuart Edmonds in the Irish team managed by Philip McCullough.

This will be Barr's 15th appearance in a row at the MX des Nations, putting him second in the all-time list of consecutive appearances representing his country. It is a record that makes him very proud.

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