Brands BSB finale: ‘Challenging’ year for Ducati’s Bridewell

| | British Superbikes
Picture: Impact Images

Having been one of the dominant performers last year, finishing third overall with 18 podiums, 2020 should have seen Tommy Bridewell make another concerted attack on the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

But, in his own words, it proved to be a challenging season and the Oxford Products Racing Ducati rider went from a title favourite to a midfield runner, eventually finishing in a distant seventh overall.

A win at the opening round of the year at Donington Park and podiums at Snetterton papered over the cracks with the new-spec Pirelli tyres ultimately determining the outcome of his season.

“It’s been a very challenging season for us and we’re all naturally disappointed with the end performance and results,” Bridewell told Bikesport News.

“At the same time, I’m very happy with the work of the team and the commitment they had to make the bike and package better.

“The bottom line is that our backs have been against the wall from round one and the new tyres have made it difficult for us.

Yes, things could have been worse but they could also have been better and with six rounds in quick succession, and with no opportunity to test, we had to essentially run with what we ha

After such a strong year in 2019, it’s fair to say neither Bridewell nor the team saw the problems coming and it wasn’t until the first round at Donington that things cropped up with chatter the main issue.

Other teams suffered too but the Wiltshire man suffered more than most and went from a race winner to finishing in the bottom half of the top ten, at best.

“We had a phenomenal package in 2019 and testing in Spain back in March was all OK but as soon as the season started in August, we were up against it. The team never stopped working and we even did back to back tests with the old and new tyres to make sure that’s what the problem was.

“We never saw the problems coming with the new Pirelli tyres and the shortened season caught us off guard in the sense there was no time to test or really get to the bottom of the problems with the races coming every two weeks and race weekends being so packed.

“It’s been a tough one to take but you never stop learning in racing and what I’ve learnt this year will stand me in good stead for 2021.”