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Bridewell, Rutter to ride Bathams Honda
17 February 2013
Tommy Bridewell has secured a spot on the 2013 MCE British Superbike Championship grid after being named alongside Michael Rutter in the Quay Garage Racing-run Bathams Honda team.
A revelation of the previous season, Bridewell took newcomers Supersonic Racing all the way to the 'Title Showdown' in 2012, a performance that also marked a first appearance in the shootout for BMW.
However, with Supersonic having since announced that it will be competing in the Italian-based CIV Superbike Championship in 2013 after failing to secure the backing it needed to continue in BSB, Bridewell was forced to seek alternative options.
Nonetheless, Bridewell has now confirmed he will be present in 2013 after agreeing to join Quay Garage Honda, with whom he competed in 2010 and for part of 2011. Keen to build on the strengths of the previous season, Bridewell is excited about the year ahead.
"I am really looking forward to the season,” he said. “This team is very much like Supersonic; they have very similar philosophies when it comes to racing. They go racing for fun and for the passion and when I am in that environment that is when I race at my best. I have my crew from last year with me again and there is no doubt in my mind that they can get that Honda working for me.
“We want even better results than last year and I want to be consistently on the podium; I want to be up there every round in 2013. I stand a good a chance as any of winning races this season and I want to be the top Honda rider out there. That won't be easy as there are a lot of really competitive Honda riders in BSB but I want to be battling up there with them and finishing ahead."
Forced into a sabbatical after losing a key backer in Tyco, Quay Garage's return to BSB competition in 2013 has been made possible by an agreement with new title sponsor Bathams Brewery, a long-time supporter of experienced racer Rutter.
It means Rutter – a veteran of 393 BSB races – will be marking the 18th anniversary of his BSB debut in 2013, the 40-year-old keen to prove he is still a reckoned force after a difficult year on the MSS Kawasaki in 2012.
"This is a really good opportunity for me and I am looking forward to getting back on a Honda as that then means I am consistent with BSB, the World Endurance and the roads too. I want to be back in the top six again; we have done it before and I know that the Honda package is as strong as ever.
“We have the backing of Bathams and some really experienced crew; the bikes are the championship-winning ones from 2011 and I think they did a brilliant job then. The rules have changed massively but that just means that set-up is even more important. I wouldn't be back on the grid if I didn't think we could get the results."
For team manager Ian Woolacott, he insists the decision to take a year out has been instrumental in its efforts to come back stronger in 2013.
"Last year we took a season out because we couldn't have done it as well as we would have wanted, but now we have undoubtedly come back with an even stronger team than we have had in the past. I believe the team has been born again; we had a year out but we have definitely regrouped and come back stronger. I think our Bathams Honda team line up makes us a force to be reckoned with this year. I am really buzzing about this season."
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