Race 1
BSB 2024
Round 3

A sensational second for Tommy Bridewell at Donington Park

gb Donington Park GP

Tommy Bridewell puts a difficult Friday behind him and produces a champion's ride to secure a second-place finish in the opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race of the weekend, achieving his second podium in Honda colours.

A sensational second for Tommy Bridewell at Donington Park

The day began with the final of three Superbike practice sessions for the team and overnight work to Tommy’s CBR1000RR Fireblade SP instantly provided the 2023 champion with the positive changes that he required. He ended this opening session in a much more representative second place and gave an early indicator of the day ahead.

Heading into Qualifying one a determined Tommy then replicated this promising pace to advance through into Superpole. His teammates meanwhile endured a slightly more challenging Qualifying, with Andrew Irwin eighteenth on the grid, and Dean Harrison twenty first. 

As ‘I’ve got a brand new combine harvester’ blared from the circuit speakers, Tommy Bridewell then launched his Fireblade to the sixth quickest time of the Superpole session, guaranteeing himself a second row grid slot for the twenty lap race later in the day. 

Packed crowds lined the circuit as the lights went out and the Superbikes roared away from the grid. From his second row qualifying slot, Tommy made an excellent start to get away with the leading group in front and quickly began a masterclass in overtaking as he battled in a group of seven riders. By half race distance and having dispatched numerous riders behind him, Tommy found himself in third and rapidly chasing down the leading duo ahead whilst dropping a quartet of riders behind him. Two laps later he had progressed further and was now sitting in second position and hot on the heels of Kyle Ryde out front. 

With the red flag waving due to a crash and signalling the end to a now shortened race one, the result was declared. Tommy picked up a sensational second place finish and doubled his Honda trophy haul. He heads into tomorrow's races targeting his first win. Andrew Irwin and Dean Harrison both made progress in the race to finish in fourteenth and seventeenth respectively. 

In the day's single Supersport race, Jack Kennedy made a great start from his fifth place grid position to get away with a leading group of riders made up of the three championship favourites and two world championship wildcard riders. The pace out front was at lap record pace and although Jack rode the wheels off his CBR600RR, he just missed out on the podium battle to finish in fourth. Focusing on the positives though, he scores more championship points and gathers valuable data for tomorrow’s race.  

Tommy Bridewell
Tommy Bridewell 1
Honda Racing UK
I knew something wasn’t quite right on Friday and we were really struggling, which was difficult because we couldn’t make any changes quickly between sessions. So overnight the team made some big changes and pretty much built the bike again from scratch. The thing I love, is that the team didn’t ask any questions, they trusted me and just got on with making the changes and got to work. Then this morning when I went out in FP3 I thought ‘I’ve got my bike back.’ It is my pleasure then to go out and stick it on the podium and repay them for their hard work, it is what they deserve and it is what we expect. It is exciting times ahead for me and Honda!

Andrew Irwin
Andrew Irwin 18
Honda Racing UK
P14 is not why I come racing, and it is certainly not a reflection of the potential of this bike and of myself. It is in these difficult moments though that we will work together as a team to reach our goals. There is work to do, but we will not shy away from getting stuck in and making the progress that we all want to achieve. 

Dean Harrison
Dean Harrison 5
Honda Racing UK
It was a bit of a frustrating race to be honest, the start wasn’t the best so we didn’t manage to push through to the positions that our pace really warranted. I think realistically we had the pace for much better we just need to get through the guys a bit quicker. The problem is that I haven’t yet mastered the aggression in the early laps to get the elbows out and fight. In fairness, I’ve got one eye on the TT too so first and foremost I want to get through the weekend unscathed. We have learnt a few things today though which is beneficial for the team. I tried a few things with the setup to give us some decent data which I think might unlock a few things for us all. We’ll try to make another step in warm-up and then go again tomorrow. 

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