British Superbikes, Donington Park - Bridewell: “would have tried to have a go”

Tommy Bridewell finished the opening race at Donington Park second but was beginning to close down race leader Kyle Ryde when the red flag halted the race early.

Tommy Bridewell, BSB, 2024, Donington Park, Race One, 18th May
Tommy Bridewell, BSB, 2024, Donington Park, Race One, 18th May
© Ian Hopgood Photography

Tommy Bridewell once again took his Honda to a podium finish, building on the one gained at Oulton Park, but had the race gone the distance there was a chance for more.

On the eve of his 400th start, due in the final race on Sunday the defending champion has been working hard with his new Honda Racing UK team, and not afraid to make drastic changes, with a whole new engine in at Donington.

“Great ride, really proud of that one to be honest…Friday we had a new engine in, the same spec but just something wasn’t right and I said to the team ‘ I can’t pinpoint what’s wrong, but something is not right’. So we changed engine last night for today and the bike was back to how I expected it to be’.

Like many of the paddock time was lost to ironing out gremlins so race runs and sims were not tested ahead of the twenty lap race one, though it didn’t go full distance following Christian Iddon’s exit, which saw the race end under red flag conditions.

“The hard bit for me was we didn’t have time, because of yesterday, to get any understanding of our race -true race pace, so going into the FP3 this morning and then into superpole…I said to the team before hand that we’ve got three Yamaha’s that are going to be super strong, Leon’s going to be strong. And the two Ducati’s are going to be strong. I said we’ve got the potential to with the race or finish eighth almost.

It was actually a really enjoyable race for me because I got away semi-clean and then obviously it was a bit of ding donging up at the front and then, obviously, I saw Ryan come down and then Kyle, I knew from - I don’t know if it was last year or year before that - he was super strong here and able to set the pace on his own out front so I knew it would be tough”.

The missing laps formed a what if for the #1 plated rider. Bridewell was catching Kyle Ryde ahead, who was seeing his tyres fade off at the same time:

“I can’t honestly stand here and say that I felt I would have had the pace to have won the race but it’s like anything - I was super, super strong in the last sector, like, really strong, so I would have tried to have had a go  - for definite!”

Only sixth overall, bridewell is thinking of the long game, eyeing more championship points on Sunday:

“I’m still really happy with finishing second, for me at the minute podiums and championship points is crucial because as the rounds go on I believe we’ll be developing the bike, it’s just exciting, exciting times for me - it’s exciting that we’re strong at the moment already when in truth, I probably did’nt expect to be.

Also it’s exciting that all of the people that doubted me - I can’t really hear them say much now, can you?”

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