By Christian Tiburtius
An exclusive interview with British Superbike star Tommy Bridewell, who recently switched from Bathams Honda to Halsall Kawasaki - and claimed his best ever BSB result with an emotional second place last time at Cadwell Park...
It's a beautiful Tuesday today [directly after Cadwell] isn't it?
Yeah, it was a great weekend throughout. I'm over the moon and really happy and everything, but I genuinely felt it was time for me to finally step up to the mark and I'd expected that of myself. I'd had a year and a half of chasing it and chasing it and it got to the stage where I was just getting frustrated.
I had a good feeling for a podium at Cadwell, didn't quite get onto the podium in race one, made some changes to the bike and did the job in race two. We realised that the in race one the bike wasn't using all the fork travel which meant that we were struggling in the last part of the corner. It was just a question of changing some oil heights in the forks, changing some shock springs and the bike was a lot easier to ride at the end of the race.
Why do you race with the number 46?
When me and [brother] Ollie first started racing we went down to sign on in our first minimoto race, Ollie was given number 46 and I was number 47. I didn't stay with 47, I went to number 18 which was my grandpy's old number from his grass track days. When Ollie was killed [at the 2007 Mallory Park BSB round] though I went to 46 in his honour.
You dedicated your second place to Ollie's memory, does his memory inspire you when you race?
Yeah, it's everything I race for. I have no interest in racing motorbikes if I'm not racing for my brother. I surely love this fantastic sport but I only want to succeed for me and Ollie. If I didn't have his inspiration I wouldn't have the passion I've got now for racing.
Ollie put every ounce of everything he had into being successful in racing, endless training and effort and he is my complete inspiration in life and racing. Everything's for him, not for me and I don't think or worry much about myself. For me the only way I can do him justice is by continuing my good form and eventually moving on to the world stage. I do enjoy the world paddock and there's a feeling of living our dream there.
It's not like I've got no passion for motorbikes, of course I do, it's my whole life and I couldn't bear to think of my life without them, it's just that it's part of a dream that Ollie's part of and that dream doesn't end with a podium at Cadwell and doesn't even end if we win the BSB championship. Maybe that dream will end when we're a bit older and get a world title under our belt, maybe then I'd feel that was mission complete.
I ask him to keep me safe before every race. Sometimes we don't get a good result and sometimes we have accidents, but as long as I know that he's riding with me and keeping me safe then I'm happy. As long as I don't let him down then I have no problem.
When me and Ollie were both in the same team in BSB it was one of the best years of my life, that year was the only year when I wasn't too bothered about beating my team mate. When I see the Lowes brothers supporting each other and the Espargaro brothers doing the same, it's something that I really, really miss and it makes me sad.
Do you think the changes and difficulties in your career have made your personality?