Tommy Bridewell demonstrated his 2023 British Superbike Championship [BSB] title credentials at Knockhill after knuckling down from a slow start to grind out a trio of a solid results and an extension to his overall lead.
Only 15th fastest after free practice, it took a bold set-up change and a calm head ahead of qualifying for the Devizes man to turn his fortunes around, with a 4-2-2 proving enough to leave Scotland with an eight point lead.
The BeerMonster Ducati rider had to fight his way through from tenth on the grid in the first race, no easy task around the tight and twisty 1.26-mile circuit, but was rewarded with a fourth that in turn transformed his chances for races two and three as well.
“We were off the pace in FP1-FP3 but made a bold, geometry change ahead of qualifying which was a massive step forward and we then made another change ahead of the race,” he told BSN.
"That was another positive change, but I had to re-learn the bike and, of course, when you go faster, you find new issues.”
“That said, our pace was good and once I’d got up to fourth and pulled away from Leon (Haslam), the gap to the front three stayed the same. We got some good data and I was confident we had the pace to fight for the wins on Sunday.”
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Despite still having to start from the third row, Bridwell again made light work of getting himself into contention and had moved into the rostrum positions with five laps to go, before a crash ahead for team-mate Glenn Irwin gifted him second.
The final race saw him further up the grid and having taken the lead when Jason O’Halloran crashed out, he held on until the 18th lap when Irwin relegated him to second.
Recognising his fellow Ducati rider was the quicker rider on the weekend, he duly brought the bike home for his eighth podium of the season.
“I’m over the moon with two seconds especially from where we were on Friday. I struggled to understand the circuit and the bike a bit but credit it to the team, we turned it around from qualifying onwards and I felt a lot better.”
“It was a shame to see Glenn go down in the first race as it was again showing the strength of the team and the bike, but I knew he’d come out fighting in the third race. I got to the front and set a steady pace, trying to look after my tyre, but I knew Glenn would be there.”
“The battle’s short but the war’s long and he was riding a bit more confident than me, so I wasn’t going to make a lunge. I’ll take the two seconds especially as they’ve put me back into the championship lead.”