BSB Assen Ducati round-up


Ducati UK | Monday 1 October 2018
Strong performances by Ducati riders at Assen

  • Glenn Irwin unable to fight for a win in race 2 after incident-packed opening laps
  • Andrew Irwin gets his best dry-race result of the year
  • Tommy Bridewell suffers a nasty crash in FP3 and is lucky to escape further injury in Race 2
Ducati riders were in action at the Cathedral of Speed during the weekend for penultimate round of the 2018 British Superbike Championship.
Tommy Bridewell suffered a 188kph, 3rd gear, full throttle highside during Free Practice 3. Despite being battered and bruised the Moto Rapido racer was declared fit to ride and qualified for Race 1 in 5th position. He lined up on the grid next to Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin who started from 4th, with Andrew Irwin starting from 14th.
Race 1
Glenn lost a couple of positions off the line and was running behind Christian Iddon for the opening stages of the race. On Lap 6 he passed the Tyco BMW Motorrad rider to claim 5th, maintaining that position until the chequered flag came out.
Tommy also lost places on his opening lap and by Lap 4 was running in 9th position. He despatched the Honda Racing duo of Jason O’Halloran and Dan Linfoot for 7th and in the closing laps also made a move on Iddon to claim 6th place. A feat made all the more impressive considering his crash on the Moto Rapido Panigale R from the previous day.
Andrew had a frustrating opening race after losing 4 positions in the early stages. He passed Bradley Ray for 17th place and a crash from Gino Rea (OMG Racing UK) saw the Be Wiser Ducati rider promoted to his finishing position of 16th.
Race 2
The second race at Assen was one filled with drama. After qualifying in 6th, Glenn was running in 8th until Linfoot crashed in front of him at the chicane on the opening lap. Glenn hit Linfoot and raised his hand to warn other riders and slowed for a presumed red flag. But the safety car was sent out instead, with Glenn dropped all the way down to 15th. As the safety car came out Tarran Mackenzie also crashed at the exit of the chicane and Glenn slowed to warn riders of the 2nd incident. Determined not to lose out, the 28-year-old from Carrickfergus raced through the pack to claim an impressive 4th place finish.
Glenn’s brother and Be Wiser Ducati teammate Andrew had a much better race. Despite starting from 17th he had moved up to 11th by Lap 5. He was passed by Glenn but went on to post similar lap times and a final pass on Iddon saw Andrew claim his second-best result of the season in 6th, well inside his Top 10 aim.
For Tommy, Race 2 was one to forget. He started from 5th once again, but Linfoot’s crash on Lap 1 left his Honda sliding on the track right in front of Tommy at the exit of the chicane. Tommy was unable to avoid a collision and crashed dramatically with the Ducati and Honda locked together and the latter catching fire. Luckily, both Linfoot and Tommy avoided any serious injury.
Glenn currently sits 4th in the championship but is just 3 points behind the third-placed rider Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha).
The teams will now look forward to the final 3-race round at Brands Hatch later this month. But Tommy will get not much time to rest as he heads out to America to race for Ducati there next week.
Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati #2) – Race 1, 5th – Race 2, 4th
“In Race 2. Dan had a highside and landed right in front of me and I went straight over the top of him, I was sure it was a red flag, I’ve seen what can happen, obviously with my teammate in 2011 who lost his life. So, I sat up and put my hand up and other riders behind were doing the same. Some guys were passing each other, riding with their hand up and passing. I didn’t think anything of it, I didn’t think it wouldn’t be red flagged. I thought I had done the right thing, I’ve slowed up and I saw the safety car flag and was in down 18th. Really, really frustrating. Obviously, number one I’m glad Dan is relatively ok. It wasn’t as bad as what I thought it was. And then Taz crashed and landed in the track and I lost time intentionally. I took my hand off and waved because I didn’t want anyone to hit him. That then left me so far back. We went faster there with the SC1 then what we did with the soft tyre in Race 1 and had a much, much better pace. I felt like my pace was good enough to win that race. I was a little bit nice and we definitely lost out on points to Josh because we could have beat him. More importantly, in an incident race like that it’s important that Dan and Taz, the guys that could have been seriously hurt, are relatively ok. But we’ve showed how competitive we are once again. It’s the best the Ducati has felt all year.”
Andrew Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati #18) – Race 1, 16th – Race 2, 6th
“It’s been a strange weekend where we kind of struggled until Race 2. I pretty much equalled my best lap time with the SC1 tyre as I did with the Zero in the last race. We went back to what we knew with riding the bike - back in Snetterton when we had the setting that was maybe user-friendly. We’ve been trying to go closer and closer to what Shakey used but it just hasn’t worked for me. I felt I kind of needed to bear with it and be able to ride into that, but we went back to what we knew. I think 6th equals my best dry result so it’s positive. The first race it was a disaster, I didn’t get a point and we didn’t have fantastic pace. And that was with the Zero tyre. We were faster with the 1 this afternoon. I’m happy with that and we’ll go to Brands, hopefully get another couple of Top 10s. We’ve been there and been quite fast. We made Q3 there last time, so we’ll go and try to make the most of the laps round and do a good job for all our sponsors and all those who support us.”
Tommy Bridewell (Moto Rapido Ducati #46) – Race 1, 6th – Race 2, DNF
“I feel physically and emotionally drained at the moment. It’s racing isn’t it! It’s been such a big weekend. We’ve been fast and strong all weekend. And then the crash really put us back. I need a good night’s sleep after that.  I came out of the chicane and Taz’s bike was right in front of me and it was impossible not to hit it. I braked as hard as I could to slow down but the front wheel washed out and that was that. But I have to take the positives and all weekend we’ve been super-fast and had mega consistency, even in Race 1 when I finished 6th. I couldn’t ask anymore from the team. It’s not the fairy tale Assen I was hoping for but we go on to Brands which is mega for the bike and good for me. I was going to say a couple of weeks rest would be good for me but it’s not going to as I’ve been asked by Ducati to fly out to America to do a race next week, so it’ll be a busy period.”
Image Gallery
Tommy Bridewell - Moto Rapido Ducati
Shane Byrne and Glenn Irwin
Glenn Irwin (2) and Andrew Irwin (18)