Tommy Bridewell scored his sixth and seventh Cup class wins of the season during the final round of the 2009 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park last weekend.
Despite not racing at the Cheshire track since 2007, the 21-year-old gradually upped his pace as the weekend progressed aboard the four-year-old Team NB Suzuki.
Making a poor start from 17th on the grid in Saturday's restarted first race, Bridewell scrapped his way to 15th overall and with it, claimed third in the Mirror.co.uk Cup race for privateers.
With some radical changes to the machine, Bridewell was in confident mood for Sunday, when another mediocre start in race two was followed by a fightback to eleventh overall, after winning a superb battle with Cup champion Gary Mason (Quay Garage Honda).
Targeting a top ten placing to round off the season, Bridewell was in the mix in the early stages of race three, but then nearly threw it all away as he took to the damp grass on lap four.
Lap after lap, he clawed back the deficit and with two laps to go, passed Mason for Cup class victory by just 0.182sec and with it a career-equalling best result of ninth overall.
"I'm delighted to get another double victory and that last race was the hardest I've ridden all season,” said Tommy. “We weren't at the races on Friday or Saturday and I had to go and have a word with myself as I didn't want to end the season on a downer so we made some changes to the bike and I got my head into gear and it worked out. I so wanted that win in the last race and fair play to Gary, he really made me work for it but it's been another good weekend and we've come away with two more wins."
Despite not contesting eight races of the season and thus missing out on a potential 200 points, Bridewell finished the year fifth in the Mirror.co.uk Cup class and 18th overall in the full MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.
"We started out with high hopes in the world championship paddock and it didn't work out so we thought we'd come back home to race so we dusted off Ollie's old bike from the display cabinet to see how we'd do,” said Tommy of 2009. “It has been a lot tougher than I was expecting and after Snetterton, I realised that if we were to succeed, I had to up my game considerably and that's what I've done. The old girl has done us proud and as the season has gone on, a few people have sat up and taken notice of our results so hopefully, we'll be getting a phone call or two as I can't do anything more now to put myself in the shop window."
As well as acknowledging the devoted help of his family and race mechanic Jason Cochrane, Bridewell paid tribute to his much-missed elder brother Ollie, who lost his life at Mallory Park in 2007.
"Old Ginge has kept me safe and the way I've had to ride to get these results, I think he's been on the back once or twice this season as I've never crashed once!” smiled Tommy. “We're putting the old girl back in the showcase now, and that's her work done, Ollie can have his bike back now and hopefully, I can ride someone else's next season...."