Tommy Bridewell may have finished second to Tarran Mackenzie in all three Bennetts British Superbike races at Brands Hatch and may have taken the same position in the final championship standings but it’s fair to say the Oxford Products Racing Ducati rider pushed his Yamaha rival harder than anyone.
Bridewell left absolutely nothing on the track at the Kent venue and gave it his maximum in his bid to lift the BSB title for the first time. He had to give second best in the end and although understandably disappointed, he was rightfully proud of both his and his team’s efforts.
“My goal this weekend was to leave as British Superbike Champion but Tarran rode phenomenally well all weekend,” Bridewell said afterwards. “But I’m happy, very happy, and proud of both myself and the team.
“I’d say we were the main competition to the Yamahas all year and the only ones to really give it to them so we can be proud of that fact. At the same time, I hate losing and there’s nothing worse than leading for 80-90% of the race only to get done on the last lap!”
The difference between the two riders in the three races was 0.160s, 0.087s and 0.126s which showed just how close it was. At times it was a bit too close with Bridewell running into the back of Mackenzie after the latter had a slide coming out of Stirlings, leaving the Ducati man nowhere to go.
“I rode to my absolute limit in all three races but Tarran and the Yamaha just had more edge grip than us. I’d say that’s the only area where they had an advantage and they could get the bike to hook up and drive that bit better than what we could.
“I didn’t have the momentum on the exit of corners like he did or the grip mid-corner so it’s an area for us to look at. I didn’t want to yield in any race but credit to him and we had a hell of a ding dong all weekend.”
Bridewell’s second place in the championship bettered his third place finishes in both 2014 and 2019 and he ended the year with three wins and 17 podiums in total so had the right to be pleased with his year.
“It’s nice to have had the wins and podiums we’ve had but, of course, it would have been nice to have had more. I kept chipping away all season and whilst there were a few ups and downs, I’m so, so happy with how I’ve ridden this year.
“I’ll celebrate the moment, get out on my tractor this week but then start to look and see where and how we can improve in 2022.”