Tommy Bridewell claimed a British Superbike Championship [BSB] hat-trick for the first time in his career as a third win of the weekend at Snetterton saw him consolidate a comfortable gap at the head of the overall standings.
The BeerMonster Ducati rider prevailed in a thrilling battle that went to wire, edging out team-mate Glenn Irwin by just +0.032s, with Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW) holding off a resurgent Ryan Vickers (OMG Yamaha) for third at the flag.
From the lights, home hero Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) - based in Thetford a few miles down the road - made the perfect getaway from the front row to lead into turn one, holding his form right through to the end of the opening lap with Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW), Bridewell, Irwin, Haslam and Danny Kent (Lovell Kent Racing Honda) in hot pursuit.
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Brookes mounted an assault on lap two, the Australian and Vickers proceeding to dice hard for a few corners before the FHO Racing BMW rider eventually shook out in front.
Bridewell remained close behind in third, but it was now Haslam in fourth having overhauled Irwin. Kent continued to run in sixth with Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) now seventh after a sluggish start. Vickers’ team-mate Kyle Ryde was again having a tough race in 14th.
A lap later and Vickers was pushed down to fourth, firstly by Bridewell and then Irwin, and that soon became fifth when Haslam also found a way by. Irwin then moved up to second at the expense of his team-mate.
Lap 5 of 16 and the running order was Brookes, Irwin, Haslam, Bridewell, Vickers and Kent with Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Ducati), O’Halloran, Lee Jackson and Tito Rabat close behind with the next change coming when Kent relegated Vickers to sixth.
Brookes continued to lead from the front with no-one really putting a challenge on him and, indeed, the Australian had opened a lead of more than half a second by lap seven, the biggest gap of the race, courtesy of the fastest lap of the race.
By lap nine, the leading five riders were all nose to tail once more with Vickers back in contention after moving back up to fifth. Iddon was now in sixth ahead of Kent, O’Halloran, Jackson and Rabat.
Drama followed at the start of lap ten though when Brookes suddenly slowed and retired with a technical issue and that meant it was now a four-way fight for the lead between new leader Irwin, Haslam, Bridewell and Vickers with Iddon trying to bridge the gap from fifth. O’Halloran was up to sixth ahead of Kent, Jackson and a recovering Ryde.
Bridewell moved up to second at the end of lap twelve with a typically determined pass into the final chicane and the gap between him and Irwin was less than two tenths of a second as the race entered its final three laps. He took the lead from Irwin at the end of the back straight on lap 14 and the duo exchanged places at the next couple of corners which allowed Haslam and Vickers back in.
Starting the final lap, Bridewell led Irwin by 0.3s and whilst he ultimately prevailed it was extremely close as Irwin got to within 0.032s as they flashed across the line. Haslam took his second podium of the weekend in third with Vickers just missing out in fourth as Iddon and O’Halloran completed the top six. Further back, Jackson, Ryde, Kent and Rabat rounded out the top ten.
|2023 British Superbike Championship [BSB] | Snetterton | Race 3 Results | Round 5 / 11|
|1||Tommy Bridewell||GBR||BeerMonster PBM||Ducati Panigale V4||16 Laps|
|2||Glenn Irwin||GBR||BeerMonster PBM||Ducati Panigale V4||+0.032|
|3||Leon Haslam||GBR||ROKiT BMW Motorrad||BMW M 1000 RR||+0.410|
|4||Ryan Vickers||GBR||LAMI OMG Racing||Yamaha R1||+0.763|
|5||Christian Iddon||GBR||Oxford Racing||Ducati Panigale V4||+2.504|
|6||Jason O'Halloran||AUS||McAMS||Yamaha R1||+3.230|
|7||Lee Jackson||GBR||Cheshire Mouldings FS-3||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+3.616|
|8||Kyle Ryde||GBR||LAMI OMG Racing||Yamaha R1||+7.089|
|9||Danny Kent||GBR||Lovell Kent Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+9.214|
|10||Tito Rabat||ESP||McAMS||Yamaha R1||+10.183|
|11||Charlie Nesbitt||GBR||MasterMac by Hawk||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+11.357|
|12||Jack Kennedy||IRL||Mar-Train Racing||Yamaha R1||+11.639|
|13||Max Cook||GBR||Cheshire Mouldings FS-3||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+12.683|
|14||Josh Owens||GBR||Crendon by Hawk||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+19.771|
|15||Tom Neave||GBR||Honda Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+28.548|
|16||Dean Harrison||GBR||DAO Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+31.966|
|17||Hector Barbera||ESP||TAG Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+42.676|
|DNF||Luke Mossey||GBR||Tactix L1 Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|DNF||Jack Scott||GBR||Rapid CDH Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|DNF||Bradley Perie||GBR||VisionTrack Racng||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|DNF||Josh Brookes||AUS||FHO Racing||BMW M 1000 RR|
|DNF||Liam Delves||GBR||Rapid CDH Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|DNF||Storm Stacey||GBR||Starline Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|DNF||Peter Hickman||GBR||FHO Racing||BMW M 1000 RR|
|DNF||Franco Bourne||GBR||Honda Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R|
|DNS||Danny Buchan||GBR||SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad||BMW M 1000 RR|