Race 3
BSB 2024
Round 2

Bridewell delivers with a superb second

gb Oulton Park

Tommy Bridewell delivered a sublime ride from fourth on the grid in race one to rocket his Fireblade into a superb second place finish, and in doing so returned Honda Racing UK to the podium in Bennetts British Superbikes.

Bridewell delivers with a superb second

The shorter sprint race of twelve laps saw Tommy battling within a leading group of four as they slowly edged away from the chasing pack behind. Tommy’s strong start to the race and gutsy overtakes from the outset paved the way for this race long duel with riders Danny Kent, Christian Iddon and Glenn Irwin out in front. 

With the strengths of the Fireblade clear to see in the second half of the lap, Tommy used all of his racing know-how to make decisive overtakes on his competitors, passing both Kent and Iddon in separate manoeuvres at the same corner. The move on Iddon for second place came on lap eight and at this stage the gap to first was over half a second. With four racing laps remaining the 2023 champion set about chasing down his old adversary, picking off tenths lap after lap. Despite closing in on the lead, there were simply not enough laps remaining to mount an assault on the win. 

Nonetheless, this second place finish proves that the Honda Fireblade in the hands of Tommy is a force to be reckoned with, even in the early stages of the development cycle of this new machine. 

In the second Superbike race of the day a poor start meant that Tommy simply lost too much time with the leading pack as he attempted to fight once more for the podium positions. He did however consolidate his weekend with another top six finish, scoring more valuable points for his championship defence. 

Meanwhile, in a race long duel for the points in race one, Andrew Irwin emerged victorious in his battle with Peter Hickman for fourteenth position. He scores more points and continues to build into his season ahead. He then backed up this point scoring ride with a fifteenth place finish in race two.

There was disappointment for Dean Harrison however as a technical problem on the warm up lap of the opening race meant that he was unable to start the race. This difficulty was then compounded in race two as his failure to set a lap time resulted in a starting position at the back of the field. Rising to this challenge and with a determined ride through the pack, Dean narrowly missed out on more points as he finished in sixteenth. 

In the sole Supersport race of the day, Dubliner Jack Kennedy delivered yet more silverware for the Honda team as he put together his strongest race of the year so far with a fantastic ride to second. At times leading the way on his CBR600RR, he now sits at the top of the championship standings by a single point. A just reward for his consistency and measured approach to the season ahead. Key developments coming for the bike and already competitive, he keeps his feet firmly planted on the ground as his championship challenge builds. 

And in a rescheduled Superstock race, John McGuinness MBE narrowly missed out on a point scoring ride with a seventeenth place finish just behind his 2023 Fireblade mounted road racing competitor Conor Cummins.

The roads team now departs for the North West 200 with practice sessions scheduled for Wednesday 8th May.

Tommy Bridewell
Tommy Bridewell 1
Honda Racing UK
I think all in all this has been a positive weekend, for me I have to focus on the steps that we are making and to be fair I can’t be disappointed. Yes I want to win, I want to win every single race, but we proved that we have got podium pace. I’ve raced on other bikes and know what other bikes are capable of so to do that at this stage of the development cycle of a new bike is just fantastic. Once we get the next stage complete then I think there are a lot of people out there who are going to be a little bit worried. Credit to Honda, thank you very much for all of their hard work and thank you to all my personal sponsors. People doubted the move and doubted me, which for me is a massive motivator and I am really proud of myself and of Honda. This project is long term and there are only exciting times ahead. In the last race I just got stuck after a poor start which made it hard to make progress, then once the front guys had that gap to us I just couldn't get to them and used up my tyre trying. I am slightly disappointed with the last race but I focus on the positives. Three solid point scoring rides on the board. I think we need to keep consolidating these decent strong point results at the moment then we will be happy. There will come a moment when we will need to do more, but right now we have some time to develop and then the wins and more will be the target. Right now we will keep chipping away, keep working hard and then see how we fair up at Donington in a few weeks time. 

Andrew Irwin
Andrew Irwin 18
Honda Racing UK
When things are difficult it is very frustrating, but we won’t give up. The potential is there and when we put it all together we will be fighting for the positions that I know we are capable of. It has been a weekend of three finishes as I continue to rebuild, which is ultimately not the goal for where we want to be but it is certainly part of the journey to get there. My focus is to continue working hard to take steps forward & to keep on improving. We have two weeks to go away, re energise and we go again at Donington.

Dean Harrison
Dean Harrison 5
Honda Racing UK
Not the best day of racing but it very much is what it is, we had a technical in the warm up lap of race one which meant unfortunately we had to miss that race. The team then did a good job to get us back out but we had to start from the back of the grid, which lets face it is never easy. I think the difficulty was that it just took too long to get through on everyone and into the fight with the guys with similar pace. I was swapping paint with Billy for a few laps but then I just lost too much time with Hickman's crash - I had to dive to the outside of the track and get hard on the brakes because I didn’t know which way he was going to go as he got up. Then I could see Andrew coming back to me, but there was just too much of a gap. We’ve got through the weekend and now we’re off to the North West, which is always such a great event.

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