BSB Round 9 Donnington Park
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The Milwaukee Yamaha team celebrated a double podium finish at the ninth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Donington Park with Tommy Bridewell and Josh Brookes scoring a third place apiece ahead of the Showdown.
With both riders already confirmed in the end of season Showdown, the focus of the weekend was to bag the final Podium Points of the season ahead of Assen. In the opening race Bridewell put in a determined ride to charge through to secure a third place finish to add to his podium tally, however he couldn’t make it a repeat performance after he crashed out at the Old Hairpin in the second race.
Brookes had been pushing throughout the weekend to close the gap and after missing out on the podium in the first race to his team-mate he was focused on making amends in race two, which he did by carving his way through from a second row start. Brookes took third place and then pushed to close in on the race leaders, but it wasn’t enough to challenge the leading pair on the final lap.
Brookes said: “!t has been a hard weekend as it didn’t start well and I had a few problems and the whole weekend I have been trying to find a setting that worked with the gearing and make the corners also work well. We didn’t really find that sweet spot and it seemed to be a compromise but we didn’t give up and we kept working throughout the weekend to make it better.
“I was disappointed in the first race, because at this stage of the season once you are in the Showdown, you only get a reward if you are on the podium with the points. Race two was definitely the hardest I have had to ride for one point! I was able to improve my times but in race two and starting from the second row wasn’t ideal. It took me a long time to get in front of Stuart [Easton], I knew I had the speed but there was a real strong yo-yo affect of where he was quicker and where I was and it meant I couldn’t make a pass for some time. That gave Kiyo and Shakey the chance to get away at the front and then I had my work cut out. I did make up some time which was the most satisfying part of the weekend.”
Bridewell said: “The first race was quite enjoyable as I had been struggling in a few sections of the track all weekend where we just couldn’t get it right. I started eighth and got away and I sat there and knew I had to start pushing on. The bike started working with me as the race went on and I could see Kiyo and Shakey ahead of me and I knew I had to push hard. I bridged the guys and then I couldn’t get the gap back and I had fun and just enjoyed it where I wasn’t thinking about being in the Showdown or in the top six or anything like that. Race two was disappointing to have a crash, but we are focused on the Showdown now and pushing for podiums again at Assen.”
Team Co-ordinator Mick Shanley concluded: “Overall it hasn’t been a bad weekend for us with a third and fourth place in the first race then another podium in race two. We are a little disappointed that it perhaps wasn’t more though as we have high expectations, but we have to be happy as we are the only team to have two riders in the Showdown. Now it’s where the Championship starts and these tracks coming up are those that have historically been good for us. We had a good test at Assen so we are looking forward to the Showdown.”
BSB Round 8 - Cadwell Park
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Milwaukee Yamaha returned to the top step of the podium at the eighth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Cadwell Park today (Monday) as Tommy Bridewell claimed a debut race victory at the challenging Lincolnshire circuit.
In the opening race Bridewell was in the leading pack and soon was challenging Shane Byrne for the lead. As the pair crossed the line on the ninth lap he was 0.005s ahead on the track and the race was then red flagged for rain, rewarding the Devizes rider with his first race win in the class. Brookes meanwhile put in a determined performance to fight through from his tenth place grid position to finish fourth.
In race two Brookes had elevated himself to the front row with his fastest lap from the opener, however the Australian was unable to capitalise when he slid off on the warm up lap and was then unable to complete the race with the no restart rule. However Bridewell continued his run of form to claim a third place finish which confirmed his position in the Showdown, with Milwaukee Yamaha the only team to have both riders in the final title fight at this stage of the championship.
Bridewell said: “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.
“If someone would have told me before this weekend that I would have had a win and a third place I would have bitten their arm off for it. That second race was a hard one because it was really wet and you were finding the grip but the crowd has been amazing. I got my first win and now we have got our place in the Showdown confirmed we can chill out a little bit ready for Donington. It had been a bit stressful to get that boxed off but tonight I am going to put my feet up and relax with a cup of tea!”
Brookes said: “I am not dwelling on today too much. It is a bit like yesterday in qualifying, we had some bad luck, but you know what’s done is done and there is no use thinking too much about it as you can’t go back in time and fix it. What annoyed me the most about today was race one because I rode as hard as anyone else to get as high up as I could and I don’t get anything to show for it as I am already in the Showdown.
“Race two was completely wet and the conditions were known, but the setup we had just wasn’t competitive enough and I crashed on the warm up lap, so that shows that something was wrong. To explain myself, I know there is the rule that you can’t restart after a crash, but because it was a warm up lap I thought I would pull up on the grid and see if the rule applied at that point. I thought it was no good rolling into the pits and then have a moment when the team yell at me saying what you are doing when you could have lined up on the grid or something. I knew if I wasn’t meant to be there I would be told and then I was black flagged. I hadn’t felt confident so that’s the weekend over, I have forgotten about it and now we get back on to the next one.”
Team owner Shaun Muir concluded: " Today Tommy really showed what we knew he was capable of and to take his first win at one of the toughest circuits on the calendar was a credit to both his and the crew's hard work this season. To follow up with a podium and consolidate his position in the Showdown is fantastic, especially as it looks like we will be the only team to have both riders in the title fight.
"Josh has had a difficult weekend and although he did a good job to come through from tenth to fourth he obviously wants podium finishes for his championship so was disappointed. Race two saw a small mistake cost him the chance of fighting for the podium, but we have some strong circuits coming up for us now, starting with a test this week at Assen so we are ready for the final title fight."