Local motorcycle racing hero Tommy Bridewell is targeting the top ahead of his home round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Thruxton Circuit [3-5 August] after taking his Moto Rapido Ducati to stunning new heights at the spectacular Emirates Spinnaker Tower.
Ahead of this weekend’s much-anticipated Bennetts BSB event held at the UK’s fastest motor racing circuit, Etchilhampton’s Bridewell and Winchester-based Moto Rapido took the opportunity to scale the iconic 170-metre Portsmouth landmark to admire their beautiful Ducati Panigale Superbike in a truly unique setting.
With the glorious English south coast providing a dazzling backdrop from the viewing platform and the bike appearing to float effortlessly on the glass floor some 100-metres above ground, it was certainly a dramatic change of pace for a machine better suited to hitting speeds close to 200mph on the ground!
In what is being billed as a veritable ‘local dream team’, Tommy only united with Moto Rapido Ducati last month but still managed to collect both his and the team’s best Bennetts BSB results of 2018 in their very first outing together.
He then went on to finish a fine fourth place in the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race in Japan – featuring many of the world’s top motorcycle racing riders – despite losing part of his finger just a day earlier following an accident.
With his form on the up just in time for Thruxton, Tommy explains he is coming to his beloved local circuit riding a confidence high.
“It means a lot to arrive at Thruxton on the back of these good results,” the 29-year old enthused. “We’ve been riding really strongly and I want to keep the momentum going, so the goal this weekend is the podium. I love racing at Thruxton, it’s so fast and wide that it blows your mind a little bit. We have all the home support and it is amazing how much it inspires you knowing there are crowds of people cheering you on. It’s Moto Rapido’s home race too, which makes me more determined to get a great result!”
Having reached speeds of almost 200mph on previous visits to Thruxton, Tommy is looking forward to getting into the thick of the high-octane action again – despite his rather painful injury!
“I have been clocked doing 198mph up the back straight. You don’t think about it when you’re riding but it looks very special in person when you’re at the side of the track, especially when we’re just inches away from each other at that speed.”
“The finger hampered me a bit when I was in Japan, but I would be on the bike for up to 1hr 40mins at a time, which is 48 laps. It was hard work, so I am sure I can perform through the pain barrier this weekend again.”
As for the incredible sight of his evocative Italian machine set against one of the UK’s most majestic landscapes, though Tommy – who also tackled Spinnaker Tower's 'The Drop' 25-metre abseil activity - admits he doesn’t quite have the head for heights he describes it as a perfectly picturesque setting for a majestic machine.
“I am not the biggest fan of heights so the glass floor took and The Drop took my breath away a bit,” he joked, “but it is an amazing feature and it’s lovely to see the Moto Rapido bike up here. Ducati design and build bikes to the highest standards things properly, so this is a phenomenal looking thing and just look at the view… it is so picturesque. A beautiful bike and a beautiful view, what more could you want?”
Tickets for the Bennetts BSB’s visit on 3-5 August are available on the day priced £5 for Friday (practice), £16 for Saturday (qualifying and support races) and £33 for Sunday. Paddock pass for Sunday is £10. Accompanied children aged 15 and under will be admitted free of charge.