TOMMY Bridewell is handing himself plenty of credit for his efforts in this year’s British Superbike Championship after completing a testing 2016 campaign.

The 28-year-old, who now has nine BSB seasons under his belt, brought the curtain down on his efforts for the year with a fifth-placed finish and two eighth-places at the final round at Brand’s Hatch last weekend, with the Etchilhampton speedster finishing 11th overall in the standings.

In rainy conditions, Bridewell qualified in pole position for the first race of last weekend’s triple-header and despite not troubling the loftier reaches of the leaderboard this term, the Wiltshire rider is plenty proud of how he’s performed.

With the field dominated by Kawasakis and Yamahas, Bridewell’s Bennetts Suzuki team were the only BSB outfit running Suzuki machinery in 2016.

“Because I was riding an older bike than other riders, it was always tough because I was losing half a second or eight-tenths of a second (on the leaders) on every lap,” said Bridewell.

“In one of the races, I ended up in a bit of a battle with Shakey (Shane Byrne, who rounded off his 2016 championship win last weekend).

“I passed him three times but every time we got on a straight, he would go past me because he had that much more straight-line speed.

“It’s been tricky but I’m pretty satisfied with what I’ve done because I’ve had different machinery – it’s reassured me a lot and got my name out there a bit more.

“At Brands, I did find it tough in the Sunday races because, as a rider, I’m someone that likes to take fast, swooping lines into corners.

“Some other riders will park the bike a bit more on a corner and brake a lot whereas I like to hit them with a different line, and when there are wet patches, that makes it a lot harder because there’s a lot more chance of you crashing when it’s like that.

“I was happy enough with how I dealt with it, though.”

Bridewell admits that he isn’t sure whether he’ll have a future with Bennett’s Suzuki but in the meantime, he won’t be resting on his laurels.

The Wiltshire rider added: “I need to find out what the team want to do and if they’re going to stay in the BSB or look elsewhere next year.

“If they are staying, then I could see myself being with them again but we’ll just have to wait and see.

“I won’t be relaxing or anything like that. It’s time to get back into training and get myself ready for next year.”