BECOME British Superbike champion – that is Wiltshire racer Tommy Bridewell’s only goal for 2019.

The 30-year-old racer from Etchilhampton is looking to better the seventh-place finish that he achieved in 2018 when he mounts his brand-new Ducati V4RF for the upcoming season, and has set himself the target of claiming a maiden British Superbike crown.

Having enjoyed a successful testing period in Spain and Portugal in recent weeks, Bridewell believes his Oxford Racing Ducati team are in a strong position as they enter round one at Silverstone this weekend.

Emphasising the fact that there is still a long way to go, in terms of developing the potential of the bike, Bridewell stated that nothing other than a championship win would do in the end.

Bridewell said: “It’s quite simple, really. My goal is to win the British Superbike Championship. That’s all I really have in mind.

“There’s no other target – it’s not like I’d be happy if I finished second, third, fourth or fifth.

“I’ve put a big expectation on myself and the team for this season and I expect myself and the team to achieve that. We’ve just got to go out and achieve it now.”

Bridewell will be one of 30 riders who are set to take to the track this weekend as the 12-event calendar gets underway on the national circuit at Silverstone.

Having finished last season is excellent form – Bridewell recorded eight top-10 finishes from his final 10 rides – the Wiltshire rider is hoping to start this campaign with a similar run of results.

Bridewell, while obviously trying to win his opening group of races, is likely to race a little more conservatively on his new bike as he tries to pick up useful data that may aid development in the long run.

The 30-year-old is optimistic of a strong start, but has not set himself any concrete targets to hit on the opening weekend.

He said: “With the way that British Superbike Championship is now, there are many strong riders, so it’s difficult to say what would represent a good finish.

“With a new bike, we still have a lot of development still to do, but realistically, I just want to come away with two strong point-scoring results.

“Obviously, we’ll go to win, and that’s what I expect and want to do, but we need to keep upright and gain valuable information on the bike.

“Silverstone can be tricky for a bike because it’s the national circuit now, so it’s a short circuit and that makes for very intense racing and small margins can separate the field by a lot.

“There are a lot of challenges to overcome with regards to things like tyre life – we’re still learning the bike, but I believe we’re in a much stronger position with a new bike than myself and my team would have hoped.”