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The opening round of the Italian Superbike Championship promised much but delivered little when Team Naturally Best Racing rider Tommy Bridewell sustained a broken leg in a freak incident at the Mugello circuit yesterday

After qualifying the Suzuki GSX-R1000 on row two of the nine row grid on his debut at the track, the 19 year old from Etchilhampton near Devizes in Wiltshire was confident of a good result and on the opening lap was up to third place amongst some of Europe’s best riders.

However at the Materassi section of the course, a rider lost control behind Tommy and the resulting wayward machine made contact with Bridewell and knocked him from his bike. Luckily being avoided by the ensuing pack, Tommy limped to the edge of the track where subsequent investigation revealed a re-break to the right tibia which he first injured at Snetterton back in 2002.


After visiting the local hospital, it was decided that rather than have the leg pinned in Italy, Tom would travel home with dad Marc and mum Liz in the family motorhome prior to surgery later this week to repair the damage.

As a result, Tom will miss the next round of the ISC at Monza on May 4th as well as the second round of the Suzuki GSX-R 750 European Cup back at Monza on May 11th but is hoping to be back in action at round three of the Italian Superbike Championship at Vallelunga over the weekend of May 23rd to 25th.

Speaking en route through France today, Tommy said: "The doctors told me it would be around thirty days after the operation before I’d be fit enough to ride again so if we can get the operation done this week, and there are no complications, I’ll do my best to get back for Vallelunga, which will be a bonus. If not, I’ll definitely be riding the Suzuki in Germany on June 15th. This is a real kick in the balls as I was confident of winning the race and the team and bike were fantastic but it was one of these freak things you hear about. Everyone has worked so hard, including Dunlop Tyres and Adriani Suspension and we have a great package now and I’ll be doing all I can to get fit as soon as I can. "

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