2016-05-22 16:32
Tommy Bridewell took his and the Bennetts Suzuki team’s first podium finish of the season after he finished third in the opening race at Brands Hatch, at the third round of the MCE British Superbike Championship today.

Starting from the second row of the grid, Bridewell pushed through to fourth place in the opening stages and escaped with the front-runners. He then moved his way up to third place before progressing to second; his sights set on the win. Unfortunately, he relinquished second place on the final lap, but crossed the line in third to take his first podium-finish of 2016.

Race two saw the Wiltshire-born rider again start from the second row, before he finished the 30-lap race in fourth position, capping a solid weekend for him and the team and kick-starting his season, as he moved from 18th-to-ninth in the championship hunt.

Tommy Bridewell:

“It feels good to get that first podium of the season, especially after the start we had and some of the bad luck we've suffered. I felt really confident coming into the weekend. We had the test at Anglesey, which was positive for us, and I've known all along that the potential was there in both the team and the GSX-R1000. It's still a competitive package. I knew we shouldn't be down in the positions we were in at the first two rounds, and here we've been up at the sharp-end all weekend and fast in every session. I felt very comfortable in the first race and it was good to be at the front. In race two we had a small issue with rear grip; it dropped-off a lot earlier in the race than it had in race one, which meant I couldn't maintain my pace. It was a shame to miss-out on another podium, but it's done our championship position a lot of good. We've got the Snetterton test next and I fully-expect the same sort of performance at Knockhill.”

Martin Halsall - Bennetts Suzuki Team Owner:

“Tommy had the speed all weekend to challenge at the front and the podium in race one is the result of the hard work that he and everyone in the team has been putting in. It feels great to get that first one of the season and also our first as a team with the big Suzuki. We didn’t have the best start to the season, but we knew the potential of Tommy and the package we had, and it was just a case of getting some small issues ironed-out. In race two we didn’t quite have the pace to get back onto the podium, but it’s a weekend that’s really kick-started Tommy’s season. We’ve got him up into the championship top-10, and now we can focus on fighting for more podiums and bridging the gap to the Showdown places. It’s still a bit of a bittersweet weekend, however, as I think we could have had two GSX-R1000s fighting at the front this weekend, as Ryuichi Kiyonari had the pace in practice before crashing and fracturing his collarbone. But we’re sure he’ll be bounce back and be in the mix next time out.”

Race One Result: 1. Leon Haslam, 2. James Ellison, 3. Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000), 4. Richard Cooper, 5. Luke Mossey.

Race Two Result: 1. Shane Byrne, 2. Richard Cooper, 3. Leon Haslam, 4. Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000), 5. Dan Linfoot.

Source: Team Suzuki Press Office

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