Tommy Bridewell ended the weekend in style for the Oxford Racing Ducati team after winning the third and final race at Oulton Park.
Brad Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) once again led from the start, but on Lap 3 Josh Brookes got the better of his Be Wiser Ducati teammate Scott Redding for 2nd, before going on to pass Ray for the lead on the same lap.
Meanwhile, Oxford Racing Ducati’s Tommy Bridewell, who was down in 6th on his opening lap, was the fastest man on track, setting the a new lap record on Lap 5. A couple of laps later saw Bridewell pass Redding for 3rd, before setting another new lap record of 1:33.941.
Bridewell then set about quickly chasing down race leader Brookes and Ray. But Brookes’ race ended early after he was pushing on Lap 10 and crashed out unhurt at Shell’s Oil Corner. This promoted the riders behind but Bridewell went one better on the same lap after getting the better of Ray on the inside of Lodge Corner to take the race lead.
Bridewell maintained his rapid pace on the Panigale V4 R to build a gap of over 3.5s ahead of Ray, taking the chequered flag to claim both his first win of 2019, and his maiden win for an ecstatic Oxford Racing Ducati team.
Redding finished a strong 3rd, his 3rd podium finish of the weekend.
All 3 Ducati riders now progress to the top of the Showdown standings, with less than a race win between them in points.
1. Josh Brookes: 548 points
2. Scott Redding: 545 points
3. Tommy Bridewell: 524 points
Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati #46) – 1st
“My target this weekend as always was to win all 3 races. We had a technical glitch yesterday after leading the race and I felt good. That was just standard racing motorcycles. These things are tuned at the highest physical level as to what they can do so things can go wrong. The team rectified that, and we got it sorted. I shouldn’t say it, but I feel I had the pace to win both races today and my race craft wasn’t quite right in the first race today and that’s what lost me the race there. To bounce back and rectify that for the last race today was the main thing. We’ve confirmed for the Showdown, that’s cool. We’ve ticked the box of winning a race which is cool.
And now the focus switches to fighting for the championship. We’re 24 points off the championship lead but we’ve only won 1 race. So that is a testament to how good the bike is, how good the team is. We need to be now winning the races in the Showdown. And I genuinely feel from Cadwell and Oulton that I’ve learnt a lot – not about the bike so much, but race craft, about mindsets, about focusing. And I just feel like now I need to put that into practice more. I don’t need to be trying to be the hero and win it from Lap 1 to Lap 18. I need to win it in the last lap and not the first lap. That’s the main thing.
Credit to the team, credit to Ducati. And going into the Showdown it is genuinely gloves off. I know now that what I need to do is keep beating the Be Wiser Ducati bikes. As long as I do that, we’ll be in with a chance of fighting for the title come Brands.”
Steve ‘Wilf’ Moore (Oxford Racing Ducati) Team Owner / Crew Chief
“That win was proof that it was so close to coming all the time. Made a little change from Race 2 to give Tom a little bit of confidence and a bit of a pep talk and really just to help him believe in himself because he can do the laps. And that was ‘you’re in the Showdown, there’s two weeks until the next race, don’t leave anything out there, don’t worry about anything but winning the race’. So, it was a do or die race. And he did it.”
Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati #45) – 3rd
“To be fair, when I came, I was like, if I can get podiums I’ll be mega, if I can win I’ll be over the moon. Once I got that win in Race 2 I was hungry for Race 3. But the tyre just didn’t come in. It just kept letting go and I didn’t want to make a crash just before the Showdown so I gave it some laps to come in. It didn’t come in enough and I just thought ‘that’s all I can do, I can’t do more’. So, I was frustrated on that part because I know I had the pace to win again. But you can’t win them all. Sometimes you get one of those tyres. I’ll take it as it is. We got on the podium. We came away from here safe and now we come back to some good tracks that I feel good with.”
Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati #25) – DNF
“Everything had been going perfect. The bike actually felt really good in the last race. In fact, I felt so good on the bike I overstepped my limits and went down you know. Obviously disappointed for myself, for the team, for everyone involved for the accident. But it’s better for it now than in the Showdown as it’s more compromising at that point. Everyone should keep their head up. We did well. One mistake is acceptable so we’ll move on.”