Tommy Bridewell claimed his second British Superbike Championship [BSB] win of the season with a superb last lap pass on BeerMonster Ducati team-mate Glenn Irwin in a thrilling slow-burning opening race of the weekend at Snetterton.
A result that sees the Devizes rider extend his advantage at the head of the standings, Bridewell's last gasp victory came after muscling his way back through the order following a poor start, a charge that almost ended in disaster in a scruffy confrontation with Tito Rabat.
Nevertheless, Bridewell survived to go on to victory, though his winning overtake into Brundle on the final lap would unsettle Irwin enough to eventually leave him fourth, with Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW) and Jason O'Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) overhauling him for second and third in the run to the line.
At the lights, O'Halloran made the perfect getaway from pole position to lead into turn one, but Irwin soon took over at the front with Tito Rabat slotting into second, the ex-MotoGP rider getting stuck in from the start of his first-ever race at Snetterton.
Bridewell and Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) also dropped back after running wide at Riches, though up frontO’Halloran had regrouped to grab back the lead, his cause helped by a slightly wayward Rabat proving difficult to pass.
Starting the second lap, the order was O’Halloran, Irwin, Rabat, Danny Kent (Lovell Kent Racing Honda), Brookes and Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Ducati) with Haslam and Bridewell in seventh and eighth respectively after their first corner issues. Kyle Ryde, second overall in the championship standings, was down in 14th on the LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha.
Irwin re-took O’Halloran second time around with team-mate Bridewell overhauling both Iddon and Haslam to move up to sixth. Bridewell wasn’t done there either and was soon up to fourth although a coming together with Rabat at the Bombhole almost undid his progress.
Nevertheless, he was soon up to third and it was Rabat who came off worse in the coming together as he dropped back to seventh. He still fared better than Synetiq BMW’s Danny Buchan, who crashed out at Agostini on lap four, and Haslam who retired shortly afterwards.
Starting lap four, Irwin led O’Halloran by just over half a second with Bridewell now in a comfortable third ahead of Iddon, Kent, Brookes and Rabat but a lap later the leading trio were all running nose to tail, and Bridewell quickly slipped by O’Halloran to make it a BeerMonster Ducati 1-2.
At half race distance, it was all change at the front as Bridewell took over the lead at the Russell’s chicane, the Wiltshire rider able to hold a tighter line round Coram Curve than his team-mate. O’Halloran was only two tenths of a second behind in third whilst Brookes was up to fourth after a late move on Iddon at Montreal. Kent was still running in sixth with Charlie Nesbitt moving up to seventh on the MasterMac Honda by Hawk Racing machine.
Onto lap eight and Bridewell still led Irwin, but O’Halloran was sticking with the two Ducati’s and Brookes had closed the gap to make it a leading quartet, just a second covering the four riders with four laps to go. Indeed, Brookes got by O’Halloran at the end of the back straight on lap nine to move up to third.
Irwin was back in the lead on the tenth lap after outbraking Bridewell at the end of the back straight and Brookes and O’Halloran were still very much in contention as they started their penultimate lap.
Just three tenths of a second covered Irwin, Bridewell and Brookes going into the final lap, and it was the back straight that again proved decisive with Bridewell diving up the inside to take the lead. He held on for the win, but Irwin fell into the clutches of Brookes losing out at the chicane and, forced wide on the exit, he then dropped back to fourth on the run to the line with O’Halloran taking the final podium position.
Iddon and Kent had lonely, but solid, rides in fifth and sixth with Lee Jackson, Jack Kennedy, Nesbitt and Rabat completing the top ten but after struggling in qualifying, there were to be no changes in fortune for Ryde as he could only manage 13th.
|2023 British Superbike Championship [BSB] | Snetterton | Sprint Race 1 Results | Round 5 / 11|
|1||Tommy Bridewell||GBR||BeerMonster PBM||Ducati Panigale V4||12 Laps|
|2||Josh Brookes||AUS||FHO Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||+0.679|
|3||Jason O'Halloran||AUS||McAMS||Yamaha R1||+1.136|
|4||Glenn Irwin||GBR||BeerMonster PBM||Ducati Panigale V4||+1.192|
|5||Christian Iddon||GBR||Oxford Racing||Ducati Panigale V4||+4.607|
|6||Danny Kent||GBR||Lovell Kent Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+9.646|
|7||Lee Jackson||GBR||Cheshire Mouldings FS-3||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+10.828|
|8||Jack Kennedy||IRL||Mar-Train Racing||Yamaha R1||+11.694|
|9||Charlie Nesbitt||GBR||MasterMac by Hawk||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+12.534|
|10||Tito Rabat||ESP||McAMS||Yamaha R1||+12.936|
|11||Max Cook||GBR||Cheshire Mouldings FS-3||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+12.962|
|12||Tom Neave||GBR||Honda Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+15.257|
|13||Kyle Ryde||GBR||LAMI OMG Racing||Yamaha R1||+18.933|
|14||Luke Mossey||GBR||Tactix L1 Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+20.838|
|15||Dean Harrison||GBR||DAO Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+22.848|
|16||Storm Stacey||GBR||Starline Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+23.117|
|17||Jack Scott||GBR||Rapid CDH Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+24.443|
|18||Josh Owens||GBR||Crendon by Hawk||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+25.030|
|19||Franco Bourne||GBR||Honda Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+26.572|
|20||Peter Hickman||GBR||FHO Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||+27.918|
|21||Hector Barbera||ESP||TAG Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+32.251|
|22||Liam Delves||GBR||Rapid CDH Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+35.664|
|DNF||Ryan Vickers||GBR||LAMI OMG Racing||Yamaha R1|
|DNF||Leon Haslam||GBR||ROKiT BMW Motorrad||BMW M 1000 RR|
|DNF||Danny Buchan||GBR||SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad||BMW M 1000 RR|
|DNF||Bradley Perie||GBR||VisionTrack Racng||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|