RIDERS CUP FOR BRIDEWELL
The final British Superbike race of the season at Brands Hatch took place in wet conditions at the Kent circuit. Lining up in 4th, Tommy Bridewell didn't get the best of starts on his Moto Rapido Ducati Panigale R but by the end of the opening lap around the GP circuit had moved back up into 4th before passing the 2018 BSB Champion Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) for 3rd position. A couple of laps later Tommy put a move on Jason O'Halloran (Honda Racing) for 2nd place behind Buildbase Suzuki's Richard Cooper.
The two riders then gapped the rest of the field as the race went on. Tommy posted two consecutive fastest laps, but ultimately Cooper's pace proved too much to compete with. Tommy opted to bring his Panigale R home safely to claim another 2nd place, with a 7.5s lead over third-placed finisher Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki).
Tommy's double podium was enough to see him move up into 7th in the championship and claim the Rider's Cup, finishing the 2018 season on a high.
The last race of the season did not go to plan for Be Wiser Ducati, with Glenn Irwin running outside a points-scoring position and pitting on Lap 11. Andrew Irwin was on course for a Top 10 finish but crashed out of his last race for the team in the slippy conditions on Lap 18 of 20.
Despite retiring from the race, Glenn had already done enough to cement 3rd in the 2018 British Superbike Championship. Andrew finished in 17th, just behind the injured Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne he replaced at Round 4 at Snetterton.
Tommy Bridewell (Moto Rapido Ducati #46) - 2nd, Rider's Cup Champion
"To fight back from the start of the year to standing here now with another double podium, finishing 7th in the championship, it's a big achievement for me and the team. We've only just taken stride after stride after stride. Credit, absolute hats off, to the Moto Rapido Ducati. They put every penny they've got into that team. A special shout out to Ollie and Sue at Solent Scientific, longest lasting sponsor, and all my sponsors and everyone who believes in me and keeps me going. As always, dedicated to my brother Ollie. He's the one that keeps me motivated, keeps me focused. Never give up, never drop my head and I never will. So, I'm looking forward to next year. New bike, new challenge. Nothing's been announced yet but It’s going to be a phenomenal year with a super-fast teammate."
Steve Moore - Moto Rapido Ducati Team Owner
"Joining half way through the season, the Showdown was mathematically possible but realistically not, so the best we could expect from the season was P7 in the championship and get the Rider's Cup. And that's tough. That's really hard to do. They're fast guys out there. Coming into this weekend, I think we were 11th when we came here after the crash at Assen and then to have a pretty good weekend today is remarkable. Over the moon with it. We've had a little sweet spot with the bike for the setup in the wet, which we knew from Oulton Park already. Tommy felt good in the wet and we know that he's strong in the beginning of the race, so it went to plan. Very, very pleased."