Following on from a victorious return to BSB at Snetterton a couple of weeks ago, Wiltshire rider Tommy Bridewell scored a superb double victory in the Cup competition at a sun-kissed Knockhill in Scotland – and finished ninth overall in both races.
Riding the Team NB Suzuki GSX-R1000K6, the 20-year-old from Etchilhampton near Devizes took the Cup class race win in the opening race after a race-long battle with series leader Gary Mason as he posted a sensational ninth place overall on his first visit to the track in three seasons.
But it was in the day's second thirty-lap outing that Bridewell rode one of the best races of his career to record his best result aboard a Superbike in BSB. Struggling with the leg he broke last year because of the physical demands of the 1.1-mile hillside circuit, Bridewell climbed the leaderboard from just outside the points to close in on the pack that was pursuing the leading trio
Despite a rear tyre which had spun on the rim, Bridewell hunted down Mason with just over a lap to go and became the first person to beat the Cup competition points leader in a straight race this season. Bridewell also finished ninth overall again - the first Suzuki home.
He said: "We only decided to do Knockhill on the back of our Snetterton results and I'm pleased we did as it has been another great meeting.
“My bike was good today and to be dicing with the likes of works Suzuki riders Michael Rutter and Atsu Watanabe speaks volumes for the job my team has done on the bike. My leg was hurting in race two but all I could hear was old Ginger (Tommy’s late brother Ollie) on the back telling me to push harder and that's exactly what I did.
“To finish inside the top ten and to win both Cup races is awesome and just goes to show what you can do with a great desire on a budget. One or two of these top teams may be needing a rider after this weekend and I'm most certainly available so perhaps the phone will ring. You never know."
His father and NB team manager Marcus Bridewell added: "We always knew he could do it and we never lost our faith in him, despite him having a rough year and a half (racing)on the continent. He's a great little rider and he's making a number of people sit up and take notice and he wanted those results so bad, it was unbelievable.
They checked the bike afterwards and everything was totally legal. There's no way we'd cheat, we never have done and never will do. To win the Cup races is great but we're more interested in taking on the factory boys as that's where Tommy belongs."