Team Suzuki Press Office – June 26.

Bennetts Suzuki’s Tommy Bridewell showed his and the team’s character by salvaging a top-10 finish from a difficult weekend at Knockhill for round four of the MCE British Superbike championship with eighth place in race two.

After struggling to find a comfortable setting with his GSX-R1000 around the undulating Knockhill circuit, Bridewell qualified down in 20th, but the team’s work overnight improved his feeling with the bike for the opening race and allowed him to push forward into the points to take 12th place.

With the rain arriving for race two, he started from 16th on the grid and battled through pack, steadily picking-off riders in front of him to get himself into the top-10 and took the chequered flag in eighth place, ensuring he took a solid number of points away from a challenging weekend.

Tommy Bridewell:

“It was a very difficult weekend to be honest, but I think we really showed our character to turn it around. We were a bit lost on Friday and I couldn’t get comfortable. We made some radical changes for FP3 and again for qualifying and they didn’t have the effect that we’d hoped, so we were really up against it for the races. After qualifying we went through everything in really fine detail and just made some more changes for warm-up, and I went out and went half a second faster which, around Knockhill, is a big chunk of time. But starting in 20th was always going to be difficult, and even though we got up to 12th, that’s nowhere near where I want to be.

"In the wet race I felt really good and the bike was mega, and really justified us doing those laps at Snetterton in the wet because we used the map we developed there, and it worked so well. The chassis set-up was spot on and I just felt like I could out-brake everyone. I got to ninth with a big gap in front, so I just kept charging forward, just racing my lap-timer really, and before I knew it I had caught and passed for eighth place and pulled a gap. It’s not the position we wanted, but it was damage limitation a little bit this weekend and I think to go from 20th to eighth by the end of the weekend, around here, shows how hard everyone’s worked.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari also endured a difficult weekend on his return from injury. After qualifying in 14th, he crashed out of the opening race before struggling to 19th place in race two.

Ryuichi Kiyonari:

“This was a tough weekend and not a good one for me. I was able to ride, but my collarbone was very sore. My bike felt good, but unfortunately I crashed in the first race and got caught-up in an accident at the start of race two which cost me a lot of time. I am disappointed to come away without any points, and I’m sorry for the team, as everyone put in a lot of hard work, but I will now rest and come back stronger at Snetterton.”

Martin Halsall - Team Owner:

“It was qualifying that really hampered us this weekend. It was a shame we couldn’t get Tommy where he should be on Saturday, because after we continued working on the bike overnight, his performances in the races were impressive. Knockhill is a demanding circuit, and starting from 20th on the grid was never going to be easy, but he put in a really good ride to get himself into the points, and to then come away with eighth place in the race two is a real positive. Racing has its highs and lows, and after the podium at Brands it’s unfortunate this weekend wasn’t as strong, but his lap-times in the race were good, so we’ll take the points and go again at Snetterton.

“Unfortunately Kiyo was still struggling with his collarbone this weekend. He started the weekend well and built-up to it, but while he put a brave face on things the more riding he did, the more uncomfortable he became. He’s a professional and wanted to do the best job he could, but it has still only been four weeks since the break and sadly it was probably a bit too soon to expect any real challenge at the front from him.”

Race One Result: 1. Leon Haslam, 2. Dan Linfoot, 3. Luke Mossey, 4. John Hopkins, 5. Peter Hickman. 12. Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000). DNF. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000).

Race Two Result: 1. Shane Byrne, 2. James Ellison, 3. Dan Linfoot, 4. Peter Hickman, 5. Jason O’Halloran. 8. Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000). 19. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000).

Knockhill BSB Image Gallery: CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

Championship Points: CLICK HERE

For more stories about Ryuichi Kiyonari, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Tommy Bridewell, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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