The Movuno.com Halsall Racing team is looking ahead to the rest of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship season after a tricky weekend at Donington Park.
But the team, headed by Bolton entrepreneur Martin Halsall, is taking the positives after Tommy Bridewell salvaged a points finish in Easter Monday’s race.
Bridewell’s weekend got off to a strong start, but a crash in qualifying before he’d had a chance to set a fast lap meant he was forced to start from the back of the grid for the opening race on Easter Sunday.
It meant the Wiltshire rider needed to fight his way through the pack, and he’d been looking good as he made up a handful of places in the first two laps. But it all went wrong when he crashed out on the third lap, meaning it would be Easter Monday’s second race before he could make amends.
Starting from 20th on the grid, he got his head down and battled his way through the order to arrive at the chequered flag in 14th position.
“I’ve got mixed emotions because I know what the potential could’ve been, and we just had a lot of bad luck,” he said. “The weather was the same for everyone, but for us it’s still very early days in the development of the bike and I think this made our job a lot harder.
“I am happy with the second result but I am conscious that the championship can be very short and we have a little catching up to do. I have every faith in the team that in week and a half we’ll arrive at Brands with the changes we need done, and we can go out and start challenging up towards the front.”
In the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship, newcomer Tom Ward qualified for Sunday’s opening double-header race in 26th position. After a strong race, he crossed the line 17th.
Starting from his finishing spot in the second race 10 minutes later, the Kent rider enjoyed another solid race, and was unlucky to just miss out on the points as brought his machine home 16th.
Ward lined up for Monday’s standard length race in 20th position, but his race was cut short by a mechanical issue, and despite trying to use the rest of the race for track time, he decided to abandon and pull in to retirement.
“It’s been a bit of an up and down weekend for me as I found my feet in the championship on the new bike for the first time,” he said. “I didn’t get the best result in qualifying, but we made some changes before the first race and I improved a lot.
“Then, in between races, we made another few changes and then I went a second faster in the second race, so we are definitely moving in the right direction. In the last race it was just one of those things, I had a little problem and I was going to just stay out and ride around it but in the end I wasn’t really getting anything from it so I came in.
“Still, it’s been a useful weekend to get my first races on the big Suzuki and I can go off to my home track, Brands Hatch, in a fortnight in a good place to start moving forward.”
Team owner Martin Halsall is now looking ahead to Brands Hatch. “It was a good finish to a bad weekend really,” he said. “I think we just need to put this round behind us and move on.
“Looking at the lap times, Tommy was running similar laps to the leaders but having to come from where he did on the grid was the issue. After the crash in qualifying we had no option, and it just brings home the importance of qualifying well.
“Tom had a few issues but he’s had a strong start and we can now work on these and move forward. I’m happy with the job both lads did. Sometimes you get the luck and sometimes you don’t. Hopefully this is the end of our bad luck and we can move on from here.”
Name: Chrissy Rouse
Born: Newcastle Upon-Tyne
Bike Number: 69
Name: Tom Ward
Bike Number: 7