Bennetts Suzuki’s Tommy Bridewell took two top-10 finishes at Snetterton, recovering from a difficult qualifying to take eighth and 10th in the two races aboard his Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000 today.
The fifth round of the MCE British Superbike championship saw Bridewell take a good haul of points away from the Norfolk venue, despite a tricky qualifying session which saw him start the opening race from the fifth-row of the grid.
A strong start in race one allowed him to climb to as high as fifth place at one stage, before tyre-wear curtailed his charge and eventually saw him surrender positions to cross the line in eighth place.
Race two started with Bridewell moving up to ninth position and part of a 20-wheel train of riders all looking to move towards the front of the race. Unfortunately, he struggled to maintain his early race pace, and was awarded 10th place when the red flags came out, bringing the race to a premature end.
"It's been a bit difficult this weekend. I tried a bit too hard in Q2 yesterday and went slower as a result, so it made race one a bit trickier, having to come from 15th on the grid. But I got a good start and got up to fifth at one point. Unfortunately, we suffered with a little bit of chatter from the rear this weekend, and it hampered our races a little bit. It's frustrating as it's prevented us from being where we know we can be, but everyone in the team is working hard to find the right setting to allow us to get back amongst the podium fight."
Ryuichi Kiyonari's run of bad luck continued. After completing the sighting lap for race one, the team noticed an issue with his hard-option rear tyre. As a result, he was forced to run the softer tyre, but with his GSX-R1000 set-up for the harder tyre, he ran out of grip mid-way through the race. Circulating outside of the points, he called it a day and retired to work with the team to make changes for race two.
Starting the second race from near the back of the grid, the former BSB Champion started strongly, before a mistake saw him run off track, re-joining in last place.
While he was ultimately disappointed to finish outside of the points in 20th place, the team took the positives, with Kiyonari lapping at a pace more comparable with riders inside the top-10.
"There aren't a lot of positives from this weekend. It's a shame but this is racing and sometimes it happens. The first race we had to use a different tyre. In the second race I felt a lot better, but I made a mistake on lap one at the end of the back straight and ran on. When I re-joined, my lap times were good, but I was too far back to get into the points. The bike's not quite how we want it yet and we're still searching for solutions to a few little issues, but I will keep working, keep training, and keep practicing and try again at Thruxton."
Martin Halsall - Team Owner:
"Bit of a frustrating one today. We're having a couple of little issues with our set-up on both sides of the garage, which is just holding us back at the moment. That said, we're not a million miles off, and the pace of both riders has been the same as those running well inside the top-10.
"Kiyo's suffering from a bit of bad luck at the moment. An issue outside of our control has hampered race one, and obviously he's made a mistake in race two and it's cost him. But his times were there, and his commitment is without question. Now, we'll assess the data now and come up with a plan for the first practice session next time out at Thruxton."
Race One Result: 1. Jason O'Halloran, 2. Dan Linfoot, 3. Shane Byrne, 4. Billy McConnell, 5. Leon Haslam. 8. Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000). DNF. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000).
Race Two Result: 1. Shane Byrne, 2. Dan Linfoot, 3. Michael Laverty, 4. Leon Haslam, 5. Jason O'Halloran. 10. Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000). 20. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000).