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PBM Ducati and Tommy Bridewell win the Bennetts British Championship at Brands Hatch

BeerMonster Ducati maintain title bid after the opening race

The BeerMonster Ducati duo of Tommy Bridewell and Glenn Irwin maintained first and second place in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship after taking third and fourth place finishes respectively in the opening race of the final round at Brands Hatch today.

Bridewell’s third place, his 16th podium finish of the season, means he goes into tomorrow’s final two races with a slender 10.5-point advantage over his teammate with today’s race winner Kyle Ryde a further 16.5 points adrift.

After mixed conditions in practice, today initially saw dry and sunny conditions albeit with cool temperatures, but heavy rain fell just before eBay Qualifying which meant challenging conditions for the riders and although Tommy put in some solid laps to place seventh for the afternoon’s race, Glenn could only manage 17th.

That means confidence is at a high as both riders look to increase the gap to third placed Kyle Ryde who is now 35 points behind Bridewell and 27.5 adrift of Irwin but with three races all scoring 35 points for a win this weekend, nothing can be taken for granted.

If either rider can box off the title, it would be an unprecedented ninth Bennetts BSB crown for the PBM team, and the first since 2020 when Josh Brookes won on the Ducati. It would also be a perfect tribute to Birdy who passed away after a short illness in September.

Tommy Bridewell: “It’s hard to believe it’s the final round already but I’m looking forward to getting the championship decider underway this weekend. I’m in the position where everyone else wants to be at the head of the table and arriving at Brands Hatch, I’m feeling very confident. We have shown earlier in the season we have good pace in both the wet and the dry so if there’s one track I’d like the title to be decided at, it’s there. Hopefully it will all work out well and if everything goes to plan, I’ll do the team, myself and of course Paul proud by lifting the champion’s trophy.”

Glenn Irwin: “The mathematics speak for themselves and although we could dwell on the previous round, that doesn’t align with my plan on where this championship is going. I’ve said all along that there is a long-term goal for this season and that’s to become British Superbike champion, and I still maintain that, and I feel it is going to happen. I plan to shape my own upwards trajectory so if I listen to my own advice, then it’s all to play for. I just want to enjoy the weekend, have some fun and the plan is to come away with the number one plate.”

John Mowatt, Team Co-Ordinator: “Although we surrendered a few points to our rivals at Donington Park, some of them didn’t maximise their opportunities and we’re still first and second in the standings with three races left. Both Tommy and Glenn have a fantastic chance of becoming British champion, but if the title is to come our way, it can only be one of them, sadly. We’ll arrive and do our job as normal; we have had great success at Brands Hatch over the years, and if we can get that ninth title for the team and especially for Paul, it would mean the world to us. May the best man win, whoever that is.”

Bennetts British Superbike Championship – BikeSocial Sprint Race (12 laps)
1 Kyle Ryde (Yamaha)
2 Jason O’Halloran (Yamaha)

3 Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati)
4 Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)

5 Christian Iddon (Ducati)
6 Peter Hickman (BMW)

Championship standings
1 Bridewell 395pts
2 Irwin 384.5

3 Ryde 368
4 O’Halloran 347.5
5 Jackson 338.5
6 Haslam 327

Tommy Bridewell claims dramatic British Superbike title for BeerMonster Ducati

BeerMonster Ducati’s Tommy Bridewell clinched his maiden Bennetts British Superbike Championship crown at Brands Hatch today as he defeated teammate Glenn Irwin by just half a point to make it the closest end in the history of the championship.

It was Irwin who took both race victories on the day, his ninth and tenth of the season, but Bridewell’s brace of second-place finishes saw him come out on top and with it, give the PBM team an unprecedented ninth BSB title, a fitting tribute to their late team boss Paul Bird.

The results of Saturday’s thrilling BikeSocial Sprint race meant Glenn and Tommy lined up in second and fourth respectively for today’s opening 20-lap encounter, which saw Irwin grab the lead at the second corner as Tommy dropped back to sixth.

However, he soon regrouped and as Glenn continued to lead, Tommy moved up to third at half-race distance and when Kyle Ryde ran wide on lap 15, he took over second. For the remainder of the race, the two teammates ran nose to tail but despite the pressure he was under, Glenn held firm to take the victory ahead of Tommy.

It meant Tommy went into the final race of the season with a 5.5-point lead from where he lined up on pole with Glenn on the second row. What followed was nothing short of sensational as positions changed frequently in the race and, with it, the championship lead which exchanged hands on no less than eight occasions.

The race went right down to the wire and although Glenn did all he could by taking the win, second for Tommy was enough for him to take the title with a brave pass on Kyle Ryde on the last lap.

Tommy Bridewell: “Everything in my life has been built towards this and I’ve dedicated every day to my late brother Ollie and to become BSB champion, so for it to finally happen has made my life complete. Full credit to Glenn, he’s brought both the best and worst out of me and he’s pushed me like no teammate has ever done before – he’s an unbelievable rider and certainly knows how to ride a bike! When Paul Bird took me on, I told him I’d give everything, so the title is dedicated to both him and Ollie and I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in the team for the opportunity. Today was tough and tense, but we got it done.”

Glenn Irwin: “The maths were simple today; I had to win both races and although I did that, it wasn’t quite enough so hats off to Tommy. I tried every trick in the book, especially in the last race, and positions changed regularly, sometimes in my favour and sometimes not. The most important thing though was that I gave it everything and that’s all I can ask so full respect to Tommy. You had two guys from the same team giving it everything and all for the same reason and whilst there were ups and downs along the way, you could see today the respect we have for each other. Saturday’s race was probably what cost me, but I feel in the form of my life and a 1-2 in the championship is the best possible outcome for the Birdman.”

Johnny Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator: “What a day and what a weekend! Tense wouldn’t do it justice but after the 3-4 in yesterday’s race, it made things a bit simpler for the final day and Glenn knew he had no option other than to go for two wins with Tommy knowing he needed two seconds if that happened. As it turned out, that’s how the race panned out and maybe Glenn will regret not making his move a lap later but what’s great has been to see the lads fight it out on track cleanly and with great respect. To see them congratulate each other at the end shows what sportsmen they are. It’s been a surreal year, probably the strangest I’ll experience but the bottom line is we took 18 wins, finished 1-2 in the championship, and won both the team and manufacturer awards all after losing the boss. We had a few bumps along the way, but I can’t thank the team enough for their hard work every single weekend.”

Bennetts British Superbike Championship – race two (20 laps)
1 Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)
2 Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati)

3 Kyle Ryde (Yamaha)
4 Ryan Vickers (Yamaha)
5 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)
6 Leon Haslam (BMW)

Bennetts British Superbike Championship – race three (20 laps)
1 Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)
2 Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati)

3 Kyle Ryde (Yamaha)
4 Ryan Vickers (Yamaha)
5 Leon Haslam (BMW)
6 Christian Iddon (Ducati)

Final Championship standings (after 33 races)
1 Bridewell 455pts
2 Irwin 454.5

3 Ryde 422
4 Jackson 376.5
5 Haslam 369
6 O’Halloran 365.5

Posted on Wednesday, October 18th, 2023 in News

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