Returning to one of his favourite and most successful venues, Tommy Bridewell duly delivered at Brands Hatch at the weekend with two more British Superbike Championship podiums chalked up on the Oxford Racing Ducati.
Although unable to break the Yamaha monopoly of the race wins, Bridewell and his Ducati were the only true combination to challenge them consistently at the weekend, races which on many an occasion saw a Yamaha 1-2-3-4 at the head of the field.
One of five riders to dip into the 1’24s, Bridewell qualified in a strong fourth place and then went one better in Saturday afternoon’s 15-lapper, finishing just one second adrift of race winner Jason O’Halloran.
“I did my best to take it to the Yamahas but they’re a phenomenally strong package,” the Wiltshire rider said. “My team are doing an awesome job and we got a bit of help from Ducati at the recent World Superbike round but we still need to improve in the off throttle/on throttle area.
“I genuinely thought I could win Saturday’s race with about three laps to go but then got caught up in a bit of a dog fight and third was the best I could do.
Sunday’s opening race, held over the longer distance of 20 laps, ultimately gave Bridewell the same result and he again had to work hard for it having dropped back to sixth, from second on the grid, on the opening lap. The hotter temperatures also came into play.
“It was an odd race and although I made a good start, I immediately went backwards. It felt really greasy out there and although we were on the limit, we were only doing low 26s. The pace was slow compared to Saturday’s race and we still need to iron out a few little issues but we keep digging deep to consolidate our podiums and points.”
Bridewell was unable to add to his podium haul in the final race but fifth place, only 1.5s adrift of third placed Glenn Irwin, meant he consolidated his seventh place in the championship. It also strengthened his hold on one of the Showdown places.