THE Movuno.com Halsall Racing Suzuki team feels it has made strong and steady progress after Bennetts British Superbike Championship rider Tommy Bridewell scored two top 10 finishes at Brands Hatch.
After the tough opening round at Donington Park a fortnight ago, team owner Martin Halsall and the squad were keen to make amends this weekend, as both Bridewell and the team’s Superstock 1000 rider, Tom Ward, looked to make big strides forward with the GSX-R1000.
After a strong run in qualifying, Bridewell lined up sixth on the grid for Sunday’s first race. Despite losing a few places at the start, he settled into ninth position and held the spot to the chequered flag.
His best lap in the opening race gave him a seventh place starting spot for race two later in the afternoon. After a dry race one, the weather had always been set to turn for the second, and true to form the rain hit six laps in, forcing a restart over 22 laps, with the riders lining up in the order they’d been in when the race was stopped.
From 10th on the grid, Bridewell got another good start and moved up to eighth as the weather worsened, but was able to stick it out until the end to bag his second top 10.
“Overall it has been quite a positive weekend for me, the improvement we’ve made since Donington is clear for all to see so I am happy with two top 10s,” he said.
“But we still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do. Realistically, this is just a glorified Superstock bike with Superbike suspension, brakes and electronics, and we’ve already come quite a way with it since round one.
“Obviously we want to be finishing higher than eighth and ninth but we’re definitely moving in the right direction. We expect to be in a much stronger position by Oulton Park in a few weeks, and I’d like to thank the team for working so hard this weekend.”
In the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship, series newcomer Tom Ward continued to make steady progress in his first year on the 1000cc machine.
Qualifying 26th for Saturday’s race, the Kent rider managed to make up a few places to finish 23rd, but after the team made some changes overnight to his GSX-R1000, he had a stronger Sunday race, making up six places to cross the line 20th.
“We’ve made good progress, and we can definitely see the improvement across the weekend,” he said. “We arrived with a base setting which we thought would work but it didn’t seem to do what we wanted.
“In Saturday’s race we could see where we were against the others, so we made some changes overnight and I could certainly see the improvements. I was about five tenths faster and that’s important at a track like this.
“The bike definitely felt much better in the second race and we know what we need to do now. We’ve got a test coming up and I think we can really improve more for Oulton Park, so I’m leaving here feeling positive about the rest of the year.”
Team owner Martin Halsall added: “I’m relatively happy after today’s results, but we all know that we need to keep pushing on. We’re not there yet but I have every faith in my team that we’ll get there soon.
“Tommy did really well to get two top 10s, he did well to just stay on in that bad weather in the second race, and I know once we’ve done a bit more work with the Suzuki that he’ll be challenging nearer the front.
“Tom has continued to learn and is getting quicker every time he goes out. He’s new to the 1000 and still finding his feet but he knows where he’s struggling now and I think we can all see where we need to go to move forward.
“The team has worked tirelessly once again over the weekend and we’ve got the test coming up and a few things happening so I believe we’ll be coming out fighting at Oulton in a few weeks’ time.”
Name: Chrissy Rouse
Born: Newcastle Upon-Tyne
Bike Number: 69
Name: Tom Ward
Bike Number: 7