Tommy Bridewell arrives at the opening round of the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown at Oulton Park this weekend (24/25/26 September) feeling confident ahead of this weekend’s opening three races in Cheshire.
Bridewell and the Oxford Products Racing Ducati team hold fourth place in the standings, trailing Christian Iddon ahead of him by just two points and determined to close the deficit to the McAMS Yamaha pairing.
A run of eight consecutive podium finishes meant Bridewell soared up the standings, and after another podium at Silverstone last time out, he was content with the results at a circuit that has historically been more difficult for the Ducati teams.
“Silverstone was good and I was actually really happy with it to be honest as I felt I rode really well,” said Bridewell. “I think it is a track that we could potentially be really strong at, but we just lose a little bit in the last two corners. We worked hard all weekend to try and minimise what we would lose, we wouldn’t gain, and to be fair we made it a lot better so I was happy to come away with a third and two fifths.
“In the last race I physically couldn’t have ridden any harder. I caught Josh, sat there and thought I had a lap and a half to try and pass him. I made the pass, he came back at me, I then made the pass again, kind of almost knowing that if I got it stopped it would be a miracle, but I didn’t and I then lost out to Josh and Danny, but I enjoyed the battle. What was nice was that finishing fourth or fifth, I had nothing to lose because of the Podium Points, so it was good fun.”
The attention now turns to the Showdown and with a maximum of 225 points available from the three races at Oulton Park, Donington Park and the Brands Hatch finale, Bridewell is looking forward to the return to the Cheshire circuit.
“Oulton Park at the start of the year I rode fairly reserved to be honest and I feel that I am riding much better now for definite,” added Bridewell. “It was the opening round of the season and I wanted to get the championship off to a good start, which is what we did. I feel for definite I can and able to ride a lot faster and a lot harder going back there to what we did at round one. I feel we can be stronger again for the start of the Showdown.
“To be honest, I have to do whatever it takes to win three races at Oulton Park. It is easy to say that, and there are a lot of riders who will say the same I feel fairly relaxed going into Oulton Park and without too much pressure as my goal is simply to win all three races this weekend.
“I feel that to do that I am going to have to ride at the very top of my game and to do that I am going to have to play the field at their own game. I am more than happy to race hard; I feel that I have proven this year that I can quite comfortably come through the pack with races like Snetterton from 16th up to second, so I know how to overtake people! It would be nice obviously to have a slightly easier race, and we have got the starts sorted now, which is a bonus!”
The final three rounds will decide the destiny of the 2021 Championship title and Bridewell is determined to take the fight to the finish as he bids for a debut British Superbike crown.
“We just need to keep the ball rolling and we have three rounds,” said Bridewell. “If I am honest, I am not focused or worried about anything else. As long as I can finish the season and go ‘right, there was nothing left in me and there was nothing left in the bike’ then I feel I have achieved my goal and objectives. That should be, hopefully with a bit of luck, becoming British champion, and if it isn’t then I can sit down and know there was nothing more that I could do about it as I rode the absolute wheels off the thing.
“I feel like I need to make hay whilst the sun shines at Oulton Park as Donington Park we will definitely have a bit of work to do to make the bike stronger in sector one and Brands Hatch will be good. So there is only one round in the Showdown where I have one eye on, to make sure we are on top of our game there as it can catch us out.”