By Neil Morrison
Tommy Bridewell and Halsall Racing have dramatically parted company after just three rounds together, meaning the 24-year old will not ride for the team for the remainder of the 2013 British Superbike campaign.
The popular Englishman achieved instant success upon switching from Bathams Honda to the Halsall ZX-10 at Oulton Park in August and has scored five top six finishes since then, including an impressive second place at Cadwell Park and a third last time out at Donington.
In a statement released by Halsall Racing, owner Martin Halsall said the team's recent upturn in form “has effectively elevated Tommy and his value as a rider in both the domestic and world stage, to the point where he has received potential offers to ride for other teams.”
The news comes days after Yonny Hernandez announced his departure from the PBM MotoGP squad, to replace the injured Ben Spies at Pramac Ducati. PBM "will be announcing a replacement rider in due course". The Cresent Suzuki World Superbike team are also on the lookout for a stand-in rider for the upcoming two rounds in the USA and France after Leon Camier broke his foot and fractured his ankle in Turkey.
UPDATE: On Tuesday evening Tommy Bridewell was confirmed at Milwakee Yamaha, in place of Josh Waters, for the remainder of the BSB season.
The timing of the statement will come as a shock to many as Bridewell's recent form and the performance of the Halsall Kawasaki earmarked the combination as potential championship challengers in 2014.
As of this weekend Halsall Racing will continue in a reduced capacity with Lee Costello in a one man set up.
Regarding next season Halsall confirmed the team plan to run two riders and already “have received approaches from other riders, who would like to take our second bike next year in BSB.”
The statement from Martin Halsall is as follows:
“We have been extremely pleased with the performance of Tommy Bridewell over the recent BSB rounds. He is an extremely talented rider, who has truly demonstrated the capability of our bikes and proved that we are contenders for the championship in 2014. While I am encouraged by our performances, I have had to evaluate the situation carefully following discussions with Tommy. Our overnight success with two recent podiums has effectively elevated Tommy and his value as a rider in both the domestic and world stage, to the point where he has received potential offers to ride for other teams.”
“The costs associated with operating a team in British Superbikes remain high and while I am confident that Halsall Racing will be operating a two man team for next year, we just need to assess our current position carefully. I can confirm that we will be running with Lee Costello in 2014 and I look forward to continuing the development and relationship I have built with Lee from Superstock into BSB. He is a talented rider and I stand by the commitments I have made to Lee and appreciate the dedication that he has shown to me during his time at Halsall Racing.”
“We have received approaches from other riders, who would like to take our second bike next year in BSB and we are assessing those options with the individuals concerned. We will obviously make further announcements in due course. It is with a heavy heart that I have made this decision and wish Tommy every success in whatever options he chooses to take for the future. He has proved his capability and I am sure that he has evaluated his options carefully to ensure he has the best opportunity for future achievements. I would like to extend my thanks to him personally for the success with the team over the last few rounds.”
Bridewell missed out on the Superbike Showdown and currently sits eighth in the championship standings.