BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Thruxton, Great Britain, 05/08/2015, British Superbike Championship
After the seventh race weekend in the British Superbike Championship (BSB) in Thruxton, both Tyco BMW riders are heading for the title showdown. Both Tommy Bridewell and Michael Laverty moved up in the overall standings. The two riders are now in the top six, which is all-important in the BSB. After nine race events, there is an interim result in the series and the top six riders in the overall standings head into the showdown as title fighters. At the final three race weekends of the season they use a special points system to decide the title among themselves.
Thruxton is known for its turbulent and dramatic races – which is exactly what last weekend had in store. The first race in the fiercely contested Superbike class (BSB SBK) had to be red-flagged after just a few laps when an oil slick on the track resulted in accidents. There were further falls after the restart – and unfortunately Tyco BMW rider Bridewell was one of the victims.
After his strong appearance with “Penz13.com” at the “Suzuka 8 Hours” a week earlier, Bridewell was among the front-runners on his Tyco BMW S 1000 RR once again in the BSB. On the final lap he was battling with Danny Buchan for a place on the podium, when Buchan fell and dragged Bridewell down with him. Bridewell suffered a heavy blow to the head and he headed to the medical centre rather than the podium. Initially the doctors were unsure whether to ban him from contesting the second race, but then gave him the all clear.
Bridewell proved himself to be a real tough man. He finished in fourth place in the second race, as if nothing had happened. This saw him move up into fifth place in the championship standings. “It was disappointing to retire from the first race, but it wasn't my fault,” he said afterwards. “All credit to the team, the front end feel I’m now getting has transformed the whole bike for me; not to mention having to get my Tyco BMW ready for race two after the crash. I’m just glad I was able to get out for race two, after being potentially deemed unfit to ride, so fourth place isn’t bad considering.”
His team-mate Michael Laverty can also draw positives after the Thruxton weekend. The track isn't one of his favourites and yet he took an important step forward in the overall classification. He finished ninth in the first race and earned himself a good sixth place in the second race. This saw him climb to sixth in the championship standings and also become one of the potential title fighters: “It was a tough weekend, which I anticipated, but two top tens is satisfying enough and we’ve moved up two places in the championship at a track which is going to be my worst this season.”
BMW Motorrad privateers Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW), Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing BMW) and Lee Jackson (Buildbase BMW Motorrad) also picked up points. Jessopp crossed the finish line in tenth and eighth, McConnell finished in eighth and 15th, and Jackson bagged himself ninth place in race two.
In the Superstock class of the BSB (BSB STK), the eighth race of the season was held in Thruxton – and it ended with the fifth win of the season for the BMW S 1000 RR. After a thrilling pursuit, Tyco BMW rider Alastair Seeley climbed onto the top step of the podium. He dropped down into seventh place during the race, but fought his way back through the field to the front, took the lead in the final chicane and won by 0.185 seconds. It was Seeley's third win of the season. As second overall in the championship standings, he reduced his deficit to leader Josh Elliott to 17 points.
Seeley's fellow BMW rider Hudson Kennaugh (Trik-Moto BMW), who already has two victories to his name this year, finished fifth in Thruxton. In the overall classification, the man from South Africa is in third, and trails Elliott by 46 points. Three other BMW Motorrad privateers picked up championship points in Thruxton: Leon Jeacock (Geo E Davies Racing) finished tenth, Dominic Usher (DU Racing BMW) 11th and Luke Quigley (Formwise Washrooms / Bathams) finished in 13th.