Bridewell tops BSB Thruxton Friday practice
Free practice one:
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 1m:16.020s
2: Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.691s
3: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.903s
4: Peter Hickman (RAF Reserves Honda) +0.947s
5: Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki) +0.958s
6: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +0.998s
Free practice two:
1: Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) 1m:15.845s
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.039s
3: Michael Rutter (Bathams BMW) +0.093s
4: Jakub Smrz (Millsport Ducati) +0.199s
5: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +0.363s
6: Dan Linfoot (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +0.465s
Tommy Bridewell fired in a late scorcher to out-gun series leader Shane “Shakey” Byrne in the opening free practice for Sunday’s sixth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at the high-speed Thruxton circuit. The top 16 riders were covered by an incredible 0.994s ahead of tomorrow’s Datatag Qualifying session.
Milwaukee Yamaha’s Bridewell has just returned from competing in last Sunday’s Suzuka Eight Hour race in Japan and he fired in a stunning time of 1m 15.845secs late on in the second session. However Byrne responded instantly, closing within 0.039s of Bridewell in the final minutes.
Bridewell, based in nearby Devizes, was delighted with his performance at a circuit on which he has not had enjoyed good results in previous years. “We have worked on the setting of the bike and it is working out just perfect. The bike feels really strong and the engine is fast so I am just enjoying my riding. Now we have to keep working hard and pushing ready for the races as that is what is important, but it is nice to be fastest today.”
Byrne in contrast has a strong pedigree at the Hampshire circuit, including a win double last year, and though he finished the day second. He said: “I absolutely love riding this circuit, it’s a bit like the M25, fast, flowing and wide and while we still have things to try, I’m feeling good. We had new brake discs to try and my first flying lap of the morning was actually faster than my fastest race lap of last year so that was a good starter.”
Michael Rutter set the third fastest time on the Bathams BMW, just eclipsing the Czech Republic rider Jakub Smrz on the Millsport Ducati and Buildbase BMW’s Ryuichi Kiyonari, who like Byrne, is chasing a record fourth British title.
Dan Linfoot, riding for the Bournemouth-based Quattro Plant Kawasaki team and Peter Hickman on the RAF Reserves Honda eased Aussie Josh Brookes on the second Milwaukee Yamaha back into eighth place.
Brookes said: “Today I have been getting back into riding the Milwaukee Yamaha after experiencing the Suzuka Eight Hour last weekend on a different style of Yamaha and different tyres, but I have to say that today has been pretty good. At the moment we are halfway between settings with the wheelbase and the gearing and we have been focused on that because we need to find a balance between them so that we get the acceleration right. We want to have the best of both worlds but I am happy with today and looking forward to qualifying tomorrow.”
Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki’s Chris Walker and Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki’s Richard Cooper completed the top ten in a closely fought session. Josh Waters, the winner of the wet second race last time out at Brands Hatch, was sixteenth fastest on his Tyco Suzuki, but still less than a second off Bridewell.
Alastair Seeley headed Supersport practice ahead of Graeme Gowland and Billy McConnell.
Lee Jackson set the pace in Superstock 1000 with Australian riders Jason O’Halloran third and David Johnson seventh.
Kyle Ryde was fastest of the Superstock 600 riders with Levi Day third and Ben Currie 22nd.