TOMMY Bridewell shrugged off a first-race retirement to clinch fourth in the second outing of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch yesterday.

Etchilhampton rider Bridewell, 25, finished just off the podium as his Milwaukee Yamaha outfit endured a testing time at the Kent circuit.

The Wiltshire ace was forced out of the opening race, while teammate Josh Brookes battled to sixth place despite being down on pace.

The second race was halted twice and restarted in wet conditions, Bridewell working his way up to fourth, Brookes recording eighth after running off the circuit to lie second overall in the standings.

Bridewell said: “(It) was a testing day for me and the team to be honest. We showed a really good and strong pace all weekend. I loved riding my bike in all the conditions (on Sunday) though so all credit the team.

"We have made no secret we have had a niggling brake problem the last couple of races and it got the better of us in race one which forced me to DNF. We did everything possible to solve it and then it rained, so we can’t be certain we fixed the problem, but we didn’t have any issues in race two.

"All in all it has been a satisfying weekend, we are fifth in the championship, and we are not a million miles away so we can’t be too disappointed.”

Team co-ordinator Mick Shanley said: “This weekend has not been what we expected, especially when free practice started well for us. In qualifying and the races though, we struggled to match that pace and we now need to work hard to work out why and resolve that ready for Thruxton.

"It has been frustrating as we know we should be pushing for more than what we have achieved, but we need to focus our efforts on Thruxton and we will be doing everything to fulfil our potential.”