With a strong start at Silverstone’s opening round and with great form in the past at Oulton Park, Tommy Bridewell maintained his excellent form around the Cheshire circuit with victory during Round 2.
His first of the season, alas it was results either side of his win that left the BeerMonster Ducati rider feeling slightly frustrated come the end of the weekend.
Only 15th in Sunday’s qualifying session, that meant he had to start from the fifth row of the grid for the Sprint race and although he made it through to fifth, it was a case of what might have been as his pace was more than a match for the leaders.
“The first race result was ok and I was happy and disappointed in equal measures,” he explained. “I was happy to have fought my way through to fifth but that’s what I expected and to be honest, I thought I’d have been able to fight my way up to the podium fight.”
“I needed the front three to be battling and swapping positions as that would have allowed me to close up but they were very much ‘follow my leader’. I’d also used a lot of the tyre coming through the field.”
His pace could be seen though with the fastest lap of the race which gave him pole position for Monday’s 18-lap opener, which he hoped would make life easier, and so it proved with an exemplary start to finish victory. He had to work hard for it though in the first half of the race before edging away to defeat team-mate Glenn Irwin by 1.5s.
With another front row start for the final race of the weekend, more of the same was expected and although he dropped back to fifth in the early stages, the fastest lap of the race helped him move up to third where he looked well placed to pounce on Irwin and Leon Haslam.
However, he wasn’t able to make any moves and with Kyle Ryde overhauling him near the end, instead, had to settle for fourth.
“It’s been a slightly mixed day as whilst I’m delighted with the race win, I’m disappointed with fourth in the second race. We made a slight change to the chassis but it wasn’t enough to have made the difference it did and the bike felt very different in the two races,” he said.
“In the first race, the bike felt a lot calmer and free to ride whilst in the second, there was a lot more stress and I was having to ride over the limit to be where I was.
"It’s helped me understand the bike more though and I believe we can make big improvements to it so it’s a shame we haven’t got another race to try! Overall, it’s been a positive weekend and it’s my best ever start to a championship so with further changes, I think we can be stronger still.”
CLICK HERE to view the 2023 BSB Championship Standings after Round 2 of 11