2023 Bennetts British Superbike Champion, Tommy Bridewell, has joined Honda Racing UK for the 2024 season as he aims to defend his crown onboard the all-new Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.
After much rumour and talk, the reigning-Champion will move to the factory Honda squad for the up-coming campaign, becoming the spearhead of the programme and is tasked with one goal, to bring the team their first Championship in 10 years.
Bridewell took eight victories in 2023 with a further 10 trips to the podium, as he battled his way to his maiden Bennetts BSB crown by just half a point from his team-mate, and closest rival, Glenn Irwin. These performances put him on the wish list of many teams, with some even considering a change of machine to the lure the Devizes-based man.
Since the flag dropped to signal the end of the season speculation has been rife as to the movements of Bridewell, with three offers on the table. He had the chance to remain with the PBM Ducati team (despite the lack of clarity surrounding their own future), and he also he had an offer on the table from the TAS Racing BMW team, who were rumoured to be considering a change to Ducati power for 2024.
Bridewell will run the number one plate in 2024
However, after returning from an end of season holiday to Florida with his wife Stacey, he finally made the decision to move to the factory Honda outfit to join Andrew Irwin and Dean Harrison. With his attention now turning to become the first man in Bennetts BSB history to defend his crown with a different manufacturer.
Bridewell will be a key member of the team as they look to develop the 2024 Fireblade before the season kicks off in late April at MSV’s new circuit, Navarra. However, with limited testing time due to a blanket ban on testing for BSB spec machines from January 1, Tommy and his teammate Andrew Irwin will be relying heavily on their ‘roads’ teammates for support in development as John McGuinness, Dean Harrison and Nathan Harrison can test their roads specification machines.
“It’s very exciting for me, there is no hiding the fact that riding for Honda, which is a factory team, is something that any rider should, and would, dream of,” said Bridewell in an exclusive interview with BikeSocial at the Honda Racing workshop in Louth.
“The position I’m in, the timing is correct. I’ve matured in my racing, my riding and in everything that I do. My approach is very different now to what it was many years ago, and the fit for me is brilliant. There is a lot of pressure involved in this because the bottom line is we, as a team, must be strong, very strong. My previous years I’ve been strong, and there is no reason why I can’t build on that here.
“I had a great friendship with Ducati Corse, Ducati UK and PBM, it was a very tough decision for sure but for me the timing felt correct, and I’ve always followed my gut in racing and I will continue to do that. I achieved what I wanted to achieve in the position I was in, and now the change of environment and the change of manufacturer feels the right choice for me.
“The decision was not easy for me, but the conversations I’ve had with Harv (team manager) and Honda UK have put my mind at ease, and to be honest I feel privileged to be the one to spearhead the project and be the face of Honda for 2024. I’ll be running the number one plate, everyone will be looking at us, and for me it’s a new chapter.”
You can watch the full exclusive interview with Tommy Bridewell now on the Bennetts BikeSocial YouTube channel.
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