Tommy Bridewell took his first ever British Superbike Championship victory after rain brought an end to race one at the perfect moment for Milwaukee Yamaha. With drizzle falling throughout, leading across the finish line was always going to be crucial and having done so at the end of lap ten, Bridewell was declared the winner when conditions became too much for slick tyres.
Despite a delay, the race looked to be going to plan for Shane Byrne who led away from Ryuichi Kiyonari in the opening laps. Even when the championship leader was overtaken by Kiyonari, the Japanese rider was let down by his machinery as his Buildbase BMW hit mechanical problems, promoting Byrne back into the lead and Bridewell into second.
The front two traded overtaking moves at Park corner as they disputed the lead but in the end, an ambitious move from Bridewell at Barn on lap ten swung it his way. The Wiltshire rider dived up the inside of Byrne’s Kawasaki but the move seemed to have backfired when ‘Shakey’ blasted past on the start/finish straight. However, the Yamaha had made it to the finish line 0.005s ahead of the Kawasaki and when the rain intensified moments later, it would prove to be his margin of victory when a result was declared.
After finally tasting victory at the 138th attempt, an understandably emotional Bridewell opened up about the journey he had taken to become a BSB winner.
“It is fantastic for me to get this first win. I have been trying so hard to push throughout my career with so much effort going into it and you have good and bad days and this is one of the good ones. I am feeling emotional about this victory and I want to dedicate it to my brother Ollie.”
Chris Walker took advantage of his teammate’s absence to all-but book a showdown spot with third ahead of Josh Brookes while Josh Waters was classified fifth despite falling at Park on the lap the race was halted. Peter Hickman was sixth ahead of Dan Linfoot and Jon Kirkham while Stuart Easton and the impressive Glen Richards completed the top ten.