THREE podium finishes for Wiltshire’s Tommy Bridewell at the final round of the British Superbike Championship in Brands Hatch weren’t enough to mount an unlikely late title challenge, as he ended the year third behind Scott Redding and Josh Brookes.

Bridewell realistically needed three wins out of three at the Kent track while relying on a poor weekend for Be Wiser Ducati duo Redding and Brookes to mount a genuine challenge for top spot.

The title’s destiny was confirmed by race two of the series’ final weekend, though, as Redding finished second behind title rival Brookes to scoop gold.

Bridewell ended his campaign with second, third and second-placed finishes to conclude the year on 636 points – 61 points shy of former MotoGP star Redding, who won the British Superbike Championship at his first attempt.

Bridewell said: “It was a great last race, I really enjoyed - though it was hard.

“I was blowing hard for many laps, I’ve got to be honest.

“But the bike was phenomenal. When Josh (Brookes) was in front, I was never quite in the position to capitalise on him.

“With three laps to go, I knew I had to force a pass. Every time I make a pass, I try to make it clean - I don’t want to make a pass only to not stop for the corner.

“It’s something I need to work on.

“The championship was decided, and I didn’t want to make any rash moves. I was all set to make a pass on Josh at the end, and then the yellow flag came out.

“He made a mistake afterwards, but he just covered my line.

“All in all, it was a great race and it’s been a great season.

“We’ll start testing next month and possibly make a few tweaks to the bike.”

Next year’s championship starts on April 10 at Silverstone’s National Circuit before Oulton Park hosts round two three weeks after.