Eazi Grip

Bridewell and Irwin still top the table after a difficult Donington round for PBM BeerMonster Ducati

Donington disappointment for BeerMonster Ducati

The BeerMonster Ducati duo of Glenn Irwin and Tommy Bridewell had a race to forget at Donington Park this afternoon with the duo both finishing outside the points in the BikeSocial Sprint Race of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

With rain arriving as the bikes assembled on the grid, their choice of intermediate tyres worked against them, but with the majority of their main championship rivals not faring any better, they remain separated by half a point at the top of the championship standings and more than fifty points ahead of new third placed rider Leon Haslam.

After solid performances in the three practice sessions where both riders were placed inside the top ten, this afternoon’s eBay qualifying session saw Bridewell best of the two teammates as he posted the second quickest time for a front row start in the race with Irwin a further row back in sixth place.

However, the dry weather in qualifying gave way to a damp track in the actual race, which was cut from 12 laps to ten and meant tyre choice was something of a lottery especially as the threat of rain was never too far away.

The two BeerMonster Ducati riders both opted for intermediate tyres front and rear but by the time the race got underway, light rain had begun to fall so they, like many others, found themselves on the wrong Pirelli rubber. Both pitted to change tyres but rejoining a lap down, 23rd and 24th was the best they could manage at the finish.

The race was won by Yamaha’s Ryan Vickers, but nearest championship rival to the PBM riders, Kyle Ryde, could only manage 12th and it was second placed Haslam who benefitted the most in the conditions. He moved up to third in the championship standings but still lies 55.5 points adrift of leader Irwin going into tomorrow’s two races.

Glenn Irwin: “We had an idea of what the weather forecast was going to do but the slight delay in the schedule meant things changed and that led to a variety of opinions on what tyres to go with. There wasn’t much time to decide, and I perhaps could have been more assertive in saying what I wanted rather than asking the question of the team, but it is what it is. It was a chaotic race which led to a strange result, but the championship position has barely changed at all. There’s still only half a point between Tommy and myself and we’ve a good gap to Leon and Kyle so no harm done.”

Tommy Bridewell: “As strange as it seems, there’s nothing to be disappointed about today. These are the days you can’t win the championship, but you can certainly lose it especially if you were to fall off and get injured. After the sighting lap I felt sure the intermediates were the right tyre choice, but conditions were getting worse and by then it was too late to change. The rain caught us out but whilst I knew we weren’t going to score any points; I also knew lots of other riders would be in the same position and so it proved. We’re all in one piece and we’ve lost minimal points in the table, so we’ll go again tomorrow.”

John Mowatt, Team Co-Ordinator: “On paper, the results don’t look good at all, but these are the days when you need to consider the overall picture and the bottom line is that we’re still first and second in the championship with a healthy lead. That’s what matters most and if we can take the positives out of today, then that’s a good thing. Many of our rivals went for the same choice of intermediate tyres and it was just a chaotic race for a lot of people, so we’ll just write this one off. Our pace in the dry was strong, as seen in qualifying, so we’ll go again tomorrow and look to bag a big haul of points and hopefully extend our championship lead.”

Bennetts British Superbike Championship – BikeSocial Sprint race (10 laps)

1 Ryan Vickers (Yamaha)

2 Leon Haslam (BMW)

3 Luke Mossey (BMW)

4 Jack Kennedy (Yamaha)

5 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)

6 Franco Bourne (Honda)

23 Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)

24 Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati)

Championship Standings

1 Irwin 360.5

2 Bridewell 360

3 Haslam 305

4 Ryde 304

5 Jackson 296.5

6 O’Halloran 276.5

BeerMonster Ducati still lead the championship

Despite a very testing weekend at the penultimate round of the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Donington Park, the BeerMonster Ducati duo of Glenn Irwin and Tommy Bridewell endured another difficult day today but still lead the series in first and second position going into the final round at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time.

After yesterday’s lottery of tyre choice in the changing conditions which saw neither rider score points in the BikeSocial Sprint race, hopes were high for today’s opening race despite Irwin starting from row four and Bridewell on the back of the grid.

Both riders made excellent starts with Glenn up to second at the end of the opening lap and Tommy already in 15th. Glenn soon took the lead as Tommy continued to move forward, working his way up into the top ten on lap four and then into the top five four laps later. By then, spots of rain were falling, and less than two seconds covered the leading seven riders as Bridewell hit the front followed by Irwin.

But as the lead continued to change, going into the Melbourne Hairpin, Bridewell clattered into the back of his teammate sending the pair crashing out and adding no points to their tally for a second race running. Yamaha’s Kyle Ryde took the win from Leon Haslam (BMW) which meant 33.5pts covered the four riders in the points table.

The final race of the weekend, held in fully wet conditions, saw the pair line up on the grid next to each other in fourth and fifth but Glenn’s race was over almost straightaway, retiring at the first corner with a technical issue. Tommy, meanwhile, ran in fifth in the early stages before dropping back and with the race ending early after Haslam’s bike expired, he claimed ninth at the flag which saw him reclaim the championship lead.

The race was won by Yamaha’s Jason O’Halloran ahead of Christian Iddon (Ducati) and Josh Brookes (BMW) to leave Bridewell in the lead of the series, 7.5 points ahead of Irwin with Ryde in third a further 27.5 points back and Haslam in fourth. The three races at Brands Hatch offer 35 points each for a win.

Glenn Irwin: “This weekend has highlighted the highs and lows of racing, particularly the latter but it’s part of the job and it’s left the championship on a knife edge. I felt good in the first race and was pretty much in cruise mode until the spots of rain began to fall which led me to back off a bit. The incident with Tommy happened but I bear no resentment, we put it behind us and moved on to the last race. I had a good feeling in the wet but, unfortunately, a throttle sensor went so we ended the weekend with no points. The points table could have looked a lot different but I’m only 7.5pts behind Tommy and mentally I feel in a good place and I’m so fortunate to ride for such a good team.”

Tommy Bridewell: “I’m sore after today’s crash and worn out emotionally after the weekend. Without doubt it’s been a tough day and a rollercoaster of a meeting and whilst the incident in the first race was bad for all of us, it was just a racing incident, but I apologised to Glenn and his team as it was obviously disappointing for both of us. I felt so strong on the bike and to come from last on the grid to lead after eight laps is almost unheard of in BSB so it’s a real shame it happened. In the final race, I had a few visibility issues, but I came here half a point behind in the championship standings and I’m leaving 7.5pts in the lead so I’m feeling positive going into the final round at Brands.”

John Mowatt, Team Co-Ordinator: “It’s been a tough day in a manner of ways but with the way the results went today, I think we’ve dodged a bullet as the championship table could be a lot closer than what it is. What happened in the first race was a racing incident and could have happened to anyone, it’s just more unfortunate when the person you take out is your teammate. No-one intends to do that in racing and at the end of the day, they’re human beings competing in a pressure situation and today Tommy made a mistake with both riders paying the price. After six wins on the bounce, it’s a shame the run has ended the way it has but we can be grateful that we’re still first and second in the championship and still with a bit of a buffer to the rest of the field.”

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race two (16 laps)

1 Kyle Ryde (Yamaha)

2 Leon Haslam (BMW)

3 Christian Iddon (Ducati)

4 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)

5 Jason O’Halloran (Yamaha)

6 Ryan Vickers (Yamaha)

DNF Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)

DNF Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati)

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race three (15 laps)

1 Jason O’Halloran (Yamaha)

2 Christian Iddon (Ducati)

3 Josh Brookes (BMW)

4 Charlie Nesbitt (Honda)

5 Jack Kennedy (Yamaha)

6 Storm Stacey (Kawasaki)

9 Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati)

DNF Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati) 

Championship Standings (after ten rounds)

1 Bridewell 368

2 Irwin 360.5

3 Ryde 333

4 Haslam 327

5 Jackson 324.5

6 O’Halloran 317.5

Posted on Monday, October 2nd, 2023 in News

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