Bikes-Battling Bridewell 8th in Italy

Following on from the broken leg sustained in the very first round of the Italian Superbike Championship, British teenager Tommy Bridewell bounced back with a battling eighth place finish at round four held at Misano yesterday.

Having missed the previous two rounds of the ISC also, the 18 year old from Etchilhampton near Devizes in Wiltshire was nearly back to full fitness following recent races in the Suzuki GSX-R 750 European Cup and was determined to put in a good performance on his Naturally Best Racing 1000cc Suzuki.

Brim-full of confidence going into the race, Bridewell's problems started on the warm-up lap when a dragging clutch beset his challenge but despite this, he battled with the leading group during the early stages of the 13-lap race.

However, Tom was dealt a second blow when a problem with the rear tyre started seriously hampering his progress and the resulting time loss in the second half of the race relegated him to eighth at the flag, albeit some 19 seconds ahead of the ninth placed rider.

"What a bummer." declared Tom afterwards. "For the first time this season, I felt really confident that we could get a good result here this weekend and then when I felt the clutch go on the warm-up lap I thought maybe I could ride round the problem but then the tyre gave up the ghost a few laps later and it was all I could do to bring the bike home. I finished the race with no clutch and the rear tyre shredded but despite that, I'm pleased to get my first points on the board in the series. We have a two month break now in this series so my aim is to get fitter and look to score a podium when we come back here to Misano in late September."

In the interim, Bridewell has two races on home ground when he contests his local Castle Combe Superbike Grand National over the weekend of August 16/17 and then it's on to Donington Park three weeks later for round five of the Suzuki GSX-R 750 European Cup.

Italian Superbike Championship20th April Mugello4th May Monza25th May Vallelunga27th July Misano28th Sept Misano19th Oct Mugello

Suzuki GSX-R750 European Cup6th April Valencia, Spain11th May Monza, Italy15th June Nurburgring, Germany29th June Misano, Italy7th Sept Donington Park, GB5th Oct  Magny Cours, France