BSB Oulton Park Race 3 Results [TS] | Bridewell back on top, back in title hunt

Tommy Bridewell scores first win of 2022 BSB season as trio of podiums at Oulton Park sees him launch from eighth to second in the Title Showdown fight

Tommy Bridewell - Oxford Racing Ducati

Tommy Bridewell has catapulted himself back into the 2022 British Superbike Championship (BSB) title fight as held on for a well deserved first victory of the season in the final race of the first Title Showdown event at Oulton Park.

The first of three Showdown rounds that will decide the 2022 BSB Champion, the opening gambit around the Cheshire venue could not have offered up more drama and controversy as incidents galore served to flip the script of the season thus far.

Of the eight riders coming into the weekend with a shout of the title, it was Bridewell that faced the steepest uphill task having reached the Showdown without a race win to his name and 53 points in arrears of Bradley Ray on podium credits alone.

However, after bulking up his points’ tally with a pair of second place results in Races 1 and 2, Bridewell made it third time lucky in Race 3 as he picked up his way to the front of a shortened 15-lap race - held in cool conditions following delays to the schedule - and resisting Glenn Irwin all the way to the flag.

It means Bridewell leaves Oulton Park having surged from eighth to second in the standings, with the gap to Ray down to 40 points.

A comparatively uneventful final race of the weekend, it nonetheless acted as a tonic to the various dramas and interruptions that wrote numerous headlines in Race 2.

Chief among the stories to emerge from it was the absence of defending champions McAMS Yamaha in Race 3 after both Jason O’Halloran and Tarran Mackenzie were involved in separate accidents in Race 2.

With the team already on the back foot after a double DNF in Race 1, Mackenzie’s fall - which led to him being struck by the unsighted Peter Hickman - in Race 2 has resulted in a suspected broken femur, while O’Halloran’s opted out of starting Race 3 after being ‘battered and bruised’ in a fall caused by contact with Bridewell.

Leaving McAMS Yamaha without a single point to its name this weekend, its withdrawal from Race 3 - along with Rory Skinner, who suffered an abdominal injury in a collision with Christian Iddon - meant there was a prime opportunity for some of the lesser fancied Showdown contenders to come to the fore.

BSB Showdown underdogs become top dogs

Fittingly enough, four of these - Irwin, Ray, Race 2 winner Lee Jackson and Bridewell - filled the top four spots on the grid.

The dominant force in Race 1 and most of Race 2, though Ray had to make do with third in the latter after experiencing what he believed to be tyre issues, he remained the strong favourite to make amends in Race 3, more so when he ducked past initial leader Irwin at Old Hall at the end of the opening lap.

However, once again Ray couldn’t get down to the pace that saw him sprint away from the competition in Race 1, resulting in a train of riders forming behind him.

The leisurely pace out front spurred Irwin into action first, the Honda rider pouncing on Ray to take back the lead on lap eight, before Bridewell - having dispatched of Jackson on lap three - followed suit into second on lap nine at Turn 1.

With momentum on his side, Bridewell quickly set about attacking Irwin and wasted no time in getting the job done later that lap at Old Hall.

With Ray going backwards, the fight for victory centred on Bridewell and Irwin but while the Honda rider - enjoying one of his strongest races of the year - shadowed the Oxford Ducati throughout the latter stages, he couldn’t get a run on his rival.

As such, Bridewell completed a satisfying victory - the first for both himself and Ducati in 2022 - to invigorate his title aspirations from rank outsider to genuine challenger.

Irwin held onto second with Jackson third after getting the better of non-Showdown competitor Danny Buchan on the penultimate lap, the Honda and Kawasaki pair having also slashed their odds thanks to an unexpectedly chunky points haul this weekend.

Big gains for Ray despite big drop in pace

With Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki and BMW filling the top four spots, Ray’s fifth place marks both his worst completed race result of the year and the first time a Yamaha hasn’t finished on the podium in any race this season.

Even so, with his two closest rivals down and out this weekend, a win-third-fifth for Ray means he has multiplied his advantage in the standings from 13 points to 40 points with two rounds and six races of the season remaining.

Behind Ray, Tom Sykes just ran out of time to get the better of the ailing OMG rider ahead, though sixth still represents his best result of the season. The MCE Ducati was followed home by Peter Hickman - whose day was hampered by starting last in the second Race 2 restart due to repairs needed in the wake of his clash with Mackenzie - and Josh Brookes.

Showdown contender Kyle Ryde, meanwhile, completed an eventful day in ninth place. The OMG Yamaha rider had been running third at one stage in Race 2, only to be wiped out by two bikes that had collided behind him before a high-side at Turn 1 during the final restart put him at the back of the field for Race 3.

Nevertheless, a determined fight back would see Ryde collect solid points for ninth place, lifting him above the absent Skinner for seventh in the standings.

2022 British Superbike Championship (BSB) | Oulton Park | Race 3 RESULTS

2022 British Superbike Championship | Oulton Park | Race 3 RESULTS | Round 9 / 11 [TS 1 / 3]
PosRiderNat.WorldSBK TeamSuperbikeTiming
1Tommy BridewellGBROxford RacingDucati Panigale V4 R15 Laps
2Glenn IrwinGBRHonda RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+0.089
3Lee JacksonGBRFS-3 RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+0.222
4Danny BuchanGBRSynetiq BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+0.708
5Bradley RayGBRRICH Energy OMG RacingYamaha R1+2.024
6Tom SykesGBRMCE DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+2.143
7Peter HickmanGBRFHO RacingBMW M 1000 RR+2.390
8Josh BrookesAUSMCE DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+4.789
9Kyle RydeGBRRICH Energy OMG RacingYamaha R1+10.013
10Danny KentGBRBuildbase SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R1000R+10.130
11Storm StaceyGBRTeam LKQ Euro Car PartsKawasaki ZX-10RR+11.098
12Andrew IrwinGBRSynetiq BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+11.813
13Ryan VickersGBRFHO RacingBMW M 1000 RR+12.150
14Leon HaslamGBRVisionTrack KawasakiKawasaki ZX-10RR+14.707
15Dean HarrisonGBRDAO RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+15.795
16Takumi TakahashiJPNHonda RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+22.373
17Chrissy RouseGBRCrowe PerformanceBMW M 1000 RR+24.449
18Josh OwensGBRRapid CDH RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+25.675
19Leon JeacockGBRSpecsavers SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R1000R+37.875
20Ryo MizunoJPNHonda RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+48.029
DNFLiam DelvesGBRRapid CDH RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR 
DNFTom NeaveGBRHonda RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R 
DNSJason O'HalloranAUSMcAMS YamahaYamaha R1 
DNSTarran MackenzieGBRMcAMS YamahaYamaha R1 
DNSChristian IddonGBRBuildbase SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R1000R 
DNSRory SkinnerGBRFS-3 RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR