Tommy Bridewell will be aiming to give the fans at Thruxton something to celebrate as he prepares for his home round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship this weekend, determined to fight for a podium return with the Oxford Products Racing Ducati team.
Bridewell has previously had mixed results at Thruxton, but with the different characteristics of the Ducati the team have for this season, the Devizies-based contender is hopeful that this could play a part in the races this weekend.
A pair of third places last time out at Brands Hatch means Bridewell currently holds a position in the all-important top eight of the standings, with just nine races now remaining before the Showdown.
Speaking ahead of the weekend Bridewell said: “Coming into the home round as always I am excited, but for some reason, and I don’t know why, I genuinely feel probably more excited than I ever have done going into Thruxton. I think it is because we have obviously been getting our head around this new spec of bike and some circuits I have expected to be really strong and it has actually been harder than I thought. Other tracks I have expected to be a lot weaker at, we have actually been really strong.
“I am hoping the love-hate relationship with Thruxton is at an end and it just becomes a love-love relationship because I genuinely would love nothing more than to just have a good, strong show for my home crowd. I have so many friends, people I work with, all come up and say ‘we are coming up at the weekend, you better do well!’ I find myself in past years; always just preempting and thinking don’t hold your breath as Thruxton has always been a struggle for me.
“I am not saying I am going to win three races but I am optimistic and positive that I hope we are able to try and fight for the podium as that is the goal.
“To be honest we have always had the ability and the outright pace to be able to do it. Last year I was running in eighth and just off the back of the leading group, running similar pace and then I have always struggled to maintain the tyre. I think it is partly down to my riding style, partly down to the distribution of the bike.
“Whereas now with the different center of gravity and a different riding position, I am a lot lower in the bike. I genuinely think that will help a lot around the long, flowing corners to almost force me to ride a lot smoother. My riding style is a little bit aggressive; hard on the brakes, get it in and drive it hard out, and it is in truth the complete opposite of what you want at Thruxton.
“I think coming off of a strong weekend at Brands Hatch, the team are still working to try and get that next step. I think it is a big element of the weekend in all honesty is also just trying to consolidate as many points as possible as the Showdown is creeping up on us.
“We are in a strong position for it, but we also can’t afford to have a bad weekend. I want to fight for the podium but I also want to come away from the weekend with three, strong points-scoring results.”