The 18 year old from Etchilhampton qualified on the second row but his hopes were immediately dashed as he got a bad start aboard the Team GB machine and he ended the opening lap down in 13th place.
But the former British Superbike Championship rider set about climbing the leaderboard and within a few laps, he had moved inside the top ten and as the race progressed, he caught the leading bunch who were chasing eventual race winner Kenny Noyes.
Try as he may, Tommy couldn't get the better of the few riders in front as he'd used up his tyre and at the end of the race, he had to settle for seventh place in the opening round of the series.
"I'm a little disappointed as I knew a podium was within my capabilities but we had a few issues with suspension during practice and there wasn't a lot we could do to rectify it. I asked Chris Walker and he suggested a solution which we'll try next time out and hopefully that will cure the problems. I fluffed the start but that's what happens after a year of riding superbikes with launch control and by the time I'd caught the pack up, my tyre was about shot. But I'm glad I've got my first race of the year under my belt and I now know what I have to do in this class" said Tommy.
Bridewell flies directly from Spain to Monza where later this week, he'll be testing his Team Naturally Best Suzuki in readiness for the Italian Superbike Championship. At the same time, the team will be officially launched whereby the opening round takes place at Mugello on April 20th.
"The next round of the Suzuki GSX-R European Cup is at Monza so I'll have learned the track by then and hopefully we can concentrate entirely on setting up the bike as I need to shoot for a podium there to keep my championship chances alive" concluded Bridewell.
Suzuki GSX-R750 European Cup Championship Standings (after Round 1)
1 Ortega 25pts, 2 Resch 20, 3 Tizon 16, 4 Saltarelli 13, 5 De Carolis 11, 6 Colatosti 10, 7 Bridewell 9, 8 Gieseler 8, 9 Juhasz 7, 10 Jonchiere 6.
Italian Superbike Championship
20th April Mugello
4th May Monza
25th May Vallelunga
27th July Misano
28th Sept Misano
19th Oct Mugello
Suzuki GSX-R750 European Cup
6th April Valencia, Spain
11th May Monza, Italy
15th June Nurburgring, Germany
29th June Misano, Italy
7th Sept Donington Park, GB
5th Oct Magny Cours, France