Bridewell Increases Championship Lead At Damp Brands Hatch
BeerMonster Ducati rider Tommy Bridewell further extended his lead in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship today following a wet race at Brands Hatch despite only managing a seventh-place finish.
After scorching to pole position as the rains came for round six of the series, Bridewell was confident going into the 12-lap Bike Social Sprint race and hit the front from the start.
However, he started to slip back as he suffered a misted visor and was holding seventh place when the red flags came out due to an oil spillage and because of the extent which needed an extensive clean up operation, the race was declared as of seven laps and half points awarded.
Teammate Glenn Irwin also struggled in the wet conditions and after starting seventh on the grid for the opening race, he settled into eighth place in the early stages as the rain continued to fall. But like Bridewell, he too suffered with issues during the race with a lack of grip and when the race was stopped early, he was classified in tenth place.
Tommy Bridewell: “Today’s race was very much damage limitation as we had a few issues which held us back. In qualifying the bike was brilliant, as it was in the dry, but in the race, I was struggling as I couldn’t physically see from the second lap onwards. I couldn’t see my pit board and could only really see the red light from the bike in front of me, so it wasn’t pleasant at all. It was disappointing as I felt I could have won the race but there’s a bit of joy too as none of the riders in front of me are championship rivals and with Glenn finishing behind me, I increased my lead slightly. Tomorrow’s another day and the weather looks good so I’m confident of being in a better position in the races.”
Glenn Irwin: “Everything’s gone well in the dry and in both FP3 and FP4 I was strong and although seventh on the grid wasn’t ideal, I felt confident of moving forward in the race. However, I also felt confident Tommy could win as he looked so strong but we both struggled in the race, and it felt like I had no grip. Fortunately for me, Tommy was only a couple of places ahead of me and with the half points, I’ve only lost marginally to him in the standings. It could have been a lot worse but tomorrow’s looking dry although I’m 14th on the grid for the first race so will have to pull some big moves to make up ground.”
Johnny Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator: “All in all, it’s been a positive weekend so far and both riders have shown exceptional pace in the dry, both over one lap and over longer race runs. They worked hard again in the practice sessions but obviously the rain came along which presented a different challenge but Tommy rode well to get pole position. Glenn opted for the harder tyre initially which was the wrong way to go and lost him time but both riders were confident for the race. Conditions were worse and both experienced problems in their first race on the bike in the wet but used their heads, rode solidly, and picked up more points than their main rivals. Tomorrow looks dry so we’ll go again then.”
The result sees Bridewell extend his lead in the series to 26.5 points over Irwin who in turn increased his lead in second place to 23.5 points ahead of Kyle Ryde going into tomorrow’s two races over 20 laps each.
Double Delight As Bridewell Wins At Brands Hatch
Tommy Bridewell and the BeerMonster Ducati team enjoyed a superb day of racing at Brands Hatch today taking both wins at round six of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship to extend his title lead over team-mate Glenn Irwin to 34.5pts.
Irwin took second to Bridewell in the final race of the weekend, to give the team their fourth 1-2 of the season with the Ulsterman having taken fourth place earlier in the day.
Yesterday’s wet race results meant Tommy and Glenn started from seventh and 14th on the grid respectively for today’s first 20-lap race which saw dry conditions throughout with both making good starts, especially Irwin who jumped up five places to ninth.
By lap six, Bridewell and Irwin were up to fifth and seventh respectively and although the safety car was deployed for the next three laps, when racing resumed on lap ten, Bridewell began to make his move. Indeed, by lap 12 he was in the lead, and he never looked back, eventually winning by 2.4 seconds for his fifth win of the season.
Irwin made good progress throughout too and although he just fell short of the podium, fourth was an excellent result having started from so far back on the grid.
The final race saw Wiltshire ace Bridewell start from pole with Irwin a row further back in fifth and it proved to be the best race of the weekend with no less than five riders contesting the race win for much of the way.
As the 20-lap race entered the closing stages, it became a straight fight between Tommy, Glenn, and Yamaha’s Ryan Vickers and that’s the order they crossed the line, the gap between Tommy and Glenn just 0.133 seconds at the chequered flag meaning Bridewell took his sixth win of the season.
Tommy Bridewell: “It’s been a great weekend in all aspects. To win one BSB race is an achievement so to win two in a day and five out of the last six shows how confident I am and how I feel within myself, with the bike and with the team. I’m really proud of what we’re doing at the moment. I’m thinking more about what I’m doing which is allowing me to analyse more, understand more, and learn more and all of that combined is helping me go faster. In the final race, I knew Glenn would be there with me but it’s testament to the hard work we’re doing on Friday and Saturday that I could hold him off and it’s all about maintaining the good momentum we have.”
Glenn Irwin: “I felt good with the bike in the dry on Friday and although we had a few issues in the wet in Saturday’s race, we were able to convert that into two good rides and results today. Coming through from 14th to fourth in the first race was a good effort although the bike didn’t quite feel like mine, but the final race was really enjoyable and it’s good to show your pace here as it’s where the final round will be and where a lot of points will be on offer. I thought about having a go at Tommy on more than one occasion and perhaps should have done so as the level’s so high now you have to take the chance when you get it. I’m happy with second though and fair play to Tommy and Ryan. It’s great to give the team another 1-2 as they really deserve it.”
Johnny Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator: “It’s been an awesome day for the BeerMonster Ducati team and having had good pace in the dry on Friday and Saturday morning, we were able to convert that into wins and podiums today. Both riders had worked hard on their set up and Tommy picked the riders off one by one in the first race to pull away and take a great win. The second race was simply a great advertisement for BSB; five or six riders going for the win and exchanging positions all the time. Tommy couldn’t pull away this time so fair play to both Glenn and the other riders and to finish the weekend with another 1-2 is brilliant. All the hard work is paying dividends and we look forward to the next round at Thruxton in a fortnight.”
British Superbike Championship race two (20 laps)
1 Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati)
2 Christian Iddon (Ducati)
3 Danny Kent (Honda)
4 Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)
5 Ryan Vickers (Yamaha)
6 Jason O’Halloran (Yamaha)
British Superbike Championship race three (20 laps)
1 Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati)
2 Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)
3 Ryan Vickers (Yamaha)
4 Christian Iddon (Ducati)
5 Danny Kent (Honda)
6 Jason O’Halloran (Yamaha)
Championship positions (after six rounds)
1 Bridewell 258pts
2 Irwin 223.5
3 Ryde 181
4 Brookes 177
5 Haslam 172
6 O’Halloran 158.5