Tommy Bridewell says he never thought securing the Bennetts BSB Riders’ Cup was possible following a mid-season team switch to Moto Rapido Ducati as he hints at his 2019 plans.

The Wiltshire rider has rated the BSB Riders’ Cup – the prize awarded to the rider at the top of the standings behind the top six Showdown contenders – as one of his best feats in the series having endured a difficult campaign.

Bridewell split from the Movuno.com Halsall Racing Suzuki squad midway through the Snetterton round in June, meaning he missed the Knockhill round, but returned to action at the summer Brands Hatch GP round with Moto Rapido Ducati.

The Wiltshire-based rider rediscovered his front-running pace on the Ducati Panigale R to climb up the order, reaching the podium at both Oulton Park races before following it up with a double rostrum at the final round to storm to the BSB Riders’ Cup by two points ahead of Honda’s Jason O’Halloran.

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Bridewell has paid tribute to the Moto Rapido Ducati squad for putting faith in him and hopes the partnership can continue to develop in 2019.

“Joining Moto Rapido Ducati, it is an obvious thing, but as soon as I joined the team I took leaps and bounds forward so it is a huge credit to the team,” Bridewell said. “It is an absolute honour to ride for them as they are just a great team.

“They are so enthusiastic and put in every pound and penny they’ve got to go into that motorbike. It is down to their hard work that we as a team get that success. Yesterday we had a crash and nobody blames anyone even though it was my fault and my mistake but the team morale it still absolutely buzzing which pulled us through.

“To be honest not even in my wildest dreams did I think that seventh in the championship was possible. I know I’ve finished third overall in the championship before so this feels good because it is about the way we’ve bounced back so thank you to the team and we’ll keep pushing for the future.

“Obviously there is a new Ducati out next year and it would be nice to get something done with the team I am with. That is the plan.”

Speaking to Eurosport TV after the final race, Bridewell also fuelled speculation of Moto Rapido Ducati expanding to a two-rider line-up ahead of the introduction of the Ducati V4 Panigale.

“I’m looking forward to next year with a new bike and a new challenge,” he said. “Nothing has been announced yet but it is going to be a phenomenal year with a super-fast team-mate.”

At the start of the BSB finale, six-time champion Shane Byrne tweeted to Moto Rapido Ducati boss Steve Moore about his 2019 rider plans following the official confirmation of his split from the Paul Bird Motorsport-run Be Wiser Ducati team.

Paul Bird has signed up 2015 BSB champion Josh Brookes and MotoGP’s Scott Redding for the 2019 season ahead of the Ducati V4 debut.

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