TOMMY Bridewell feels his Halsall Racing Suzuki team made a step forward after scoring two top-10 finishes in the latest Bennetts British Superbike Championship round at Brands Hatch at the weekend.

After a tough opening round at Donington Park a fortnight ago, Etchilhampton rider Bridewell delivered a strong run in qualifying on the the GSX-R1000 and lined up sixth on the grid for Sunday’s first race.

Despite losing a few places at the start, he settled into ninth position and held the spot to the chequered flag.

His best lap in the opening race gave him a seventh place starting spot for race two later in the afternoon.

After a dry race one, the weather had always been set to turn for the second, and true to form rain hit six laps in, forcing a restart over 22 laps, with the riders lining up in the order they’d been in when the race was stopped.

From 10th on the grid, Bridewell got another good start and moved up to eighth as the weather worsened, but was able to stick it out until the end to bag his second top 10.

“Overall it has been quite a positive weekend for me, the improvement we’ve made since Donington is clear for all to see so I am happy with two top 10s,” he said.

“But we still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do. Realistically, this is just a glorified Superstock bike with Superbike suspension, brakes and electronics, and we’ve already come quite a way with it since round one.

“Obviously we want to be finishing higher than eighth and ninth but we’re definitely moving in the right direction.

"We expect to be in a much stronger position by Oulton Park in a few weeks, and I’d like to thank the team for working so hard this weekend.”

Team owner Martin Halsall added: “I’m relatively happy after today’s results, but we all know that we need to keep pushing on. We’re not there yet but I have every faith in my team that we’ll get there soon.

“Tommy did really well to get two top 10s, he did well to just stay on in that bad weather in the second race, and I know once we’ve done a bit more work with the Suzuki that he’ll be challenging nearer the front.

“The team has worked tirelessly once again over the weekend and we’ve got the test coming up and a few things happening so I believe we’ll be coming out fighting at Oulton in a few weeks’ time.”