Bikes: Battling Bridwell


Team NB Suzuki rider Tommy Bridewell overcame a number of problems to record his first World Superbike Championship finish on his debut at the brand new Portimao circuit on the Portuguese Algarve.

The 20 year old from Devizes in Wiltshire had the 2006 Suzuki GSXR at his disposal and on unfamiliar Pirelli tyres, he qualified in an impressive 25th position on the 31-bike grid despite inclement weather during qualifying.

With race day dawning brighter, Bridewell was looking good in the opening 22 lap race and was inside the top twenty when the generator failed at half distance causing him to retire.

However, he bounced back in the second race with a superb battling performance and after initially dicing with works riders Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki) and Makoto Tamada (Kawasaki), a tyre problem saw him drop off the pace to eventually finish in 25th place ahead of former GP winner Shuhei Aoyama and Italian Superbike Championship rival Luca Scassa.

"I should be reasonably happy but I must admit, I'm somewhat disappointed after today's results. I was always inside the top twenty during qualifying and I really felt that I was in with an outside chance of scoring a point but then the bike started misfiring in race one and we were advised to use a different tyre in race two which was the wrong one. But it's been a great experience and I would love to race here next season so now the hard work starts. I must say a big thank you to my team also, they have really worked hard this weekend."

Race 1 - Results1, T Bayliss (Ducati) 38m48.373s, 2, C Checa (Honda) +2.207s, 3, T Corser (Yamaha) +6.972s, 4, J Rea (Honda) +15.228s, 5, F Nieto (Suzuki) +16.126s, 6, G Lavilla (Honda) +18.152s, 7, L Haslam (Honda) +18.939s, 8, R Kiyonari (Honda) +20.942s, 9, R Xaus (Ducati) +32.018s, 10, R Laconi (Kawasaki) +32.871s. T Bridewell (Team NB) DNF.

Race 2 - Results1, T Bayliss (Ducati) 38m26.125s, 2, M Fabrizio (Ducati) +3.638s, 3, L Haslam (Honda) +4.356s, 4, M Neukirchner (Suzuki) +4.983s, 5, F Nieto (Suzuki) +6.775s, 6, T Corser (Yamaha) +7.403s, 7, C Checa (Honda) +7.578s, 8, G Lavilla (Honda) +16.113s, 9, C Crutchlow (Honda) +16.284s, 10, R Laconi (Kawasaki) +16.446s. 25, T Bridewell (Team NB) +1m07.702s.

Final Championship Standings1, Troy Bayliss (AUS) 460pts2, Troy Corser (AUS) 342pts3, Noriyuki Haga (JPN) 327pts4, Carlos Checa (ESP) 313pts5, Max Neukirchner (GER) 311pts6, Fonsi Nieto (ESP) 256pts7, Max Biaggi (ITA) 238pts8, Michel Fabrizio (ITA) 223pts9, Ryuichi Kiyonari (JPN) 206pts10, Ruben Xaus (ESP) 178pts

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