TOMMY Bridewell believes he will be back in the mix for British Superbike Championship podium positions once again in 2018 after rejoining the Halsall Racing team.

The Etchilhampton racer and team owner Martin Halsall have plenty of history, with Bridewell riding for the Bolton-based entrepreneur on two previous occasions during his career.

After struggling to to make an impression on board a Team WD-40 Kawasaki last term, Bridewell will be powered by a Suzuki GSX-R this time around. The Halsall Racing squad has been built around the 29-year-old, with Halsall also recruiting Bridewell’s team of Italian mechanics.

“Martin and I have always stayed close friends, and when we first spoke about working together again, I said I would like to be back on a Suzuki,” said Bridewell. “Martin went out and sorted it, and he got my Italian mechanics back, which is so important to me.

“Now I believe we have all the tools for the job. I’m feeling very confident that we can be fighting for the podium from round one.

“I’m very pleased to be back with the Halsall Racing outfit and I’m just eager to get out there now. I can’t wait to see what we can do, and I’m certain we can be serious contenders from the outset this year.”

Bridewell secured a pair of top-three finishes for the Bennetts Suzuki squad run by Halsall in 2016. He will be joined in the team by Kent’s Tom Ward, who races in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship.

The team owner said: “I’ve wanted Tommy back since we left BSB at the end of 2016, and I’ve also felt we had a lot of unfinished business with the Suzuki, so this is probably my dream team combination.

“We’ve put a fantastic team in place, we’ve got the Italians back and we are here to fight for the title. I’ve always believed in Tommy and what he can do, and I believe this year will be our best yet.

“We’ve also brought Tom into the team in Superstock 1000, which is another new step for us. It’s great to be able to help bring on a young, up and coming rider and I think Tom has fantastic potential and will surprise a lot of people this year.

“It’s going to be a busy 2018 for everyone involved at Halsall Racing, but we’re all raring to go and looking forward to the season ahead. Hopefully we will have plenty to celebrate as the year moves on.”