TOP TWELVE FOR OLLIE AT OULTON BUT TOMMY SUFFERS MORE SUPERSPORT WOE
Wiltshire racing brothers Ollie and Tommy Bridewell, from Etchilhampton near Devizes, suffered a mixed weekend of fortunes when round nine of Britain's favourite motorsport series, the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, visited Oulton Park in Cheshire.
With yet another massive BSB crowd enjoying the continuing heat wave, the picturesque 2.69 mile circuit has never been a big favourite of the riders, and so it looked to be once again as both Ollie and Tom languished down the order after qualifying due to various reasons.
Whilst 20 year old Ollie managed to plant the 1000cc Vivaldi Suzuki on row six of the grid, it was an entirely different story for his 17 year old sibling who technically didn't qualify! The reason being that a technical infringement in not attending a routing technical inspection saw his times from qualifying one nullified and then having become dehydrated in the soaring heat, Tommy was whisked off to the medical centre where he remained on a drip, thus missing the second session!
However, once clearance had been gained from the medical personnel on Sunday morning, Tommy was allowed dispensation to start form the back row of the British Supersport grid but his efforts came to nought as once again, for the second weekend in succession, clutch problems with the 600cc Vivaldi Suzuki saw him retire on the very first lap much to his frustration:
"It's been a tough weekend one way and another for me but I'm devastated that once again, I've had problems with the bike. I only got to the third corner before I had to park it up which, after last weekend's experiences at Knockhill, is doubly frustrating. Hopefully we can make sure that there is no re-occurrence at Croft and I can get back to scoring points in the remaining few races." said Tommy who has dropped to 16th in the championship as a result.
Meanwhile elder brother Ollie overcame the handicap of a poor qualifying to land some more valuable points in his rookie superbike season but not without his fair share of drama either. In the opening race, Ollie was dicing for the lower leaderboard placings when he made a mistake and ran off the track at Lodge Corner and by the time he'd extracted himself and rejoined the race, he had no option but to call it a day on the 'Forza Azzurri' liveried Vivaldi Suzuki, in deference to the Italian team owner, Tony Gee's, celebration of his country's World Cup victory!
Undeterred, Ollie bounced back in inimitable fashion in the second 17 lap race and was dicing with a group of riders for the mid-points placings and despite giving best to the Rizla Suzuki of four times BSB race winner Steve Plater on the last lap, Ollie was happy with his twelfth place finish:
"That's two weekends running I've scored points and this is more like it. I was unfortunate in race one and that was a silly mistake on my part but in race two, I got stuck in and really enjoyed that battle. Steve stitched me up on the last lap but I learned so much from race two, I'm feeling a lot more confident going into Croft at the next round, which is my favourite track said Ollie who moved up to joint 19th in the standings.
The next round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship takes place at Croft in North Yorkshire on August 12th and 13th