-- BSB 2013 - Round Ten - Assen
-- Lowes wins Assen opener before being excluded from race two; Assen not happy hunting ground for Brookes
1: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda)
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.102s
3: Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +7.934s
4: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +11.648s
5: Noriyuki Haga (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +18.893s
6: Jakub Smrz (Padgetts Honda) +19.125s
1: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +1.542s
2: PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +10.825s
3: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +14.231s
4: Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +15.613s
5: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +20.707s
6: Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +25.898s
1 Shane Byrne Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki 559
2 Alex Lowes Samsung Honda 558
3 James Ellison Milwaukee Yamaha 538
4 Josh Brookes Tyco Suzuki 535
5 Ryuichi Kiyonari Samsung Honda 522
6 James Westmoreland Buildbase BMW 519
7 Jon Kirkham Buildbase BMW 174
8 PJ Jacobsen Tyco Suzuki 144
9 Tommy Bridewell Milwaukee Yamaha 142
10 Chris Walker Quattro Plant Kawasaki 133
Alex Lowes won an opening race thriller in the first Showdown round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Assen but next time out the Samsung Honda rider went from hero to zero as he was excluded from what would have been a third consecutive winning double after an incident with Shane Byrne.
The two riders had duelled intensely in the first race at the Dutch circuit, trading places throughout in an epic contest with Lowes taking his seventh victory of the campaign to close within a single point of his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rival Byrne at the top of the standings.
The second was all set for more of the same as the two riders again duelled from the start but on the fourth lap as Lowes was closing in on Byrne going into a left hander, he hit the back of the Kawasaki at around 130mph.
Byrne crashed out of contention, suffering a gash and bruising to his left leg, while Lowes, who dropped to fourth re-grouped and fought back into contention to take the lead on the road ahead of Milwaukee Yamaha’s James Ellison with four laps remaining. Lowes was later excluded following a judicial after the incident for ‘causing contact which resulted in an accident’.
Ellison was credited with the victory ahead of the MCE BSB rookie PJ Jacobsen who gave the Tyco Suzuki team some cheer as their Title Fighter rider Josh Brookes had crashed out of the race. Former three times British champion Ryuichi Kiyonari took third place ahead of the Buildbase BMW duo of Jon Kirkham and James Westmoreland.
-- Milwaukee Yamaha Report
The opening round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Showdown at Assen produced a mixed raceday for Milwaukee Yamaha, but the team were still able to celebrate two podium finishes from both sides of the garage with Tommy Bridewell and James Ellison.
In the opening race Ellison had been fighting in the lead pack for the race victory until he lost oil pressure which disappointingly forced him out of contention. Bridewell though had fought his way up the order to move third on his debut with the Milwaukee Yamaha team.
Race two was as dramatic as the first and Ellison and Bridewell were both in the hunt for a podium finish in the early stages of the race, however on the fourth lap Bridewell slid out of the race ending his hopes of another strong finish. Ellison continued to battle on and he held the lead until the closing stages when Alex Lowes made a move and despite trying to fight back he finished second on the track. Lowes was later excluded from the race for an incident with Shane Byrne which promoted Ellison to the win.
Ellison said: “That second race was all a bit of a blur to be honest with you! It was a good race in the second one, especially as we were so disappointed to not have finished the first one as we were fighting at the front. I certainly believe we would have been on for a podium, especially now in the Showdown when it matters and that was a shame. We had a new engine in for the second race and I can’t thank the team enough as the bike didn’t miss a beat and we were able to go all out. I thought maybe we had the chance of the win, but at the start I had tried really hard to get by Haga and a few others and it meant I had less tyre left for the end of the race. Alex started chipping away and then he came by and I tried to stay with him but I had nothing left. We are now looking forward to Silverstone, especially as we have been there recently for the support race at MotoGP.”
Bridewell said: “It was a fantastic first race for me and for sure we managed to get it done. I am obviously disappointed for James (Ellison) as he was running well, but I saw on my board I had a gap behind me but at the end I just couldn't close the leading two. I had fallen asleep on the opening two laps and unfortunately I got caught up with Nori who was a bit excited so to speak. In the second race it was turning into a good fight and then I had a crash and took out Nori at the same time which was disappointing but I am looking forward now to Silverstone. Thanks to the Milwaukee Yamaha team for all their hard work.”
-- Qualifying - Lowes on pole
Datatag Extreme qualifying:
1: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 1m:36.261s
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.377s
3: Tommy Bridewell (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.496s
4: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.959s
5: Jakub Smrz (Padgetts Honda) +1.075s
6: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +1.462s
Alex Lowes scored an important psychological blow over his MCE Insurance British Superbike title rival Shane “Shakey” Byrne by outpacing the defending champion to take pole position for the opening Showdown race at Assen.
Samsung Honda’s Lowes had been consistently fast across every session and the title protagonist repeated his pole start of last season at a pace that surprised his rivals as he clocked a best time of 1m 36.621secs around the Dutch circuit.
Lowes said: “It went pretty good for me and feels good. The bike works well here and now it is down to me to put two good races together. I am feeling pretty confident and will give 100% and go for it.”
He goes into these race determined to close down the six points deficit he has on Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Byrne who closed within 0.371secs of him to be on the front row of the grid though the rider who is bidding to take the British crown for a record fourth time admitted he was stunned by his rivals pace.
“I saw my time was in the 1m 36secs and then saw he had gone even faster and I thought how did he do that,” said Byrne. “I’m happy enough with my race pace and it looks all set for a big battle between us. He is my target and I guess that I am his.”
Tommy Bridewell, who joined the Milwaukee Yamaha team mid-week, completes the front row of the grid, just ahead of his Title Fighter team-mate James Ellison who struggled with a down on power engine. Jakub Smrz on the Padgetts Honda and Aussie Title Fighter Josh Brookes on the Tyco Suzuki are also on the second row.
Ryuichi Kiyonari, like Byrne bidding for a record fourth British title, set seventh fastest time on his Samsung Honda to start from the third row alongside the sixth of the Title Fighters James Westmoreland riding the Buildbase BMW.
-- Tyco Suzuki Report
Josh Brookes will start tomorrow's opening race of the 2013 British Superbike Championship Showdown from the second row of the grid on his GSX-R1000 after a difficult day of qualifying for the Tyco Suzuki team at Assen in Holland.
And, after showing great consistency on his Assen BSB debut with fourth place in Q1, PJ Jacobsen will start the first BSB race from 18th place after a mechanical issue forced an unexpected retirement from Q2.
Taylor Mackenzie qualified his GSX-R600 in fifth position for today's British Supersport Sprint race, but a clutch problem on the opening lap forced his retirement and the Scottish rider will start Sunday's second race from row 10.
Josh Brookes: "It's a bit frustrating that we couldn't match our Q2 time in Q3 but we've a few more changes to make for tomorrow's race and a good start should see me away with the leading group."
PJ Jacobsen: "We'd been having a great build-up to the weekend until the mechanical just before Q2. I'm disappointed but these things happen in racing and I know the boys will have it sorted for tomorrow. I'm enjoying the Assen track on the Superbike so I aim to come through the pack and make a race of it on my GSX-R1000 Superbike."
Taylor Mackenzie: "On a positive note we've carried through the consistency and speed that we demonstrated at Donington Park. The problem we had could have happened to anyone, so I'm not dwelling on it. The GSX-R600 package is working well for me so my grid position is just a little obstacle that I have to overcome. It should make for a fun race."
Philip Neill - Team Manager: "After Q1 with Josh and PJ in P2 and P4 and Taylor posting his best-ever Supersport qualifying with fifth place, today was looking to be very promising, but motorcycle racing has a cruel way of biting back at times. PJ has been strong all weekend and was posting very impressive and consistent lap times - taking into account it's his first time here on a Superbike - and once Josh overcame a few teething problems in the early sessions, he was not far away. He knows what he needs to do tomorrow to strengthen his championship bid.
"Taylor was also unlucky to suffer a mechanical problem in the race after such as strong qualifying. But we've proved the strength of both GSX-R packages today in many areas and if we can have an incident-free Sunday, I'm sure all three riders are capable of some top results."
-- Milwaukee Yamaha Report
Milwaukee Yamaha continued to build for the opening round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Showdown at Assen today as Tommy Bridewell scored a front row position on his qualifying debut with the team as James Ellison was denied the chance to push in the final session.
Both Ellison and Bridewell had been consistently improving their pace and when it came down to the race one grid decider both riders were able to comfortably move into Q3 and the final top ten session. Ellison was ready to try and move into the 1m:36s lap time barrier but a problem with the fuel injector left him fourth and heading the second row as he bids to close the gap in the standings tomorrow. Bridewell meanwhile had an impressive performance as he qualified third on the grid on his first weekend with the Milwaukee Yamaha squad.
Ellison said: “I am a bit unhappy to be honest as one of the fuel injectors went down during Q3 so it was on three and a half with less power than I normally would have. To start with I thought it felt weird because it didn’t have as much when I opened the throttle but we persevered and equalled what I did in Q2, although it was disappointing as I felt we had a 1m:36s time in there to come. I am confident with my pace for the race tomorrow and although I feel cheesed off now I would rather it happened in qualifying than in the race as the second row isn’t the end of the world.”
Bridewell said: “It feels great to be on the front row but it hasn’t been an easy weekend because I could have done without crashing first time out yesterday. The team have beared with me so I need to thank them for that; I knew we could then get it sorted come race day. It was unexpected to be on the front row; the Milwaukee Yamaha is a phenomenal package but it is different to what I have been used to so I was unsure how long it would take me to adjust. I am really looking forward to the races and mixing it up with the Showdown riders and getting stuck into them. I want to help James as much as I can in the races so I will do my best for Milwaukee Yamaha to fight for the title. Whatever it takes I will help him and the fun will start tomorrow.”
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- British Superbike Championship 2013 -
RND 5 -
LOWES WINS SNETTERTON
RND 4 - BYRNE DOUBLES KNOCKHILL
RND 3 - LOWES TAKES BSB SERIES LEAD
RND 2 - BYRNE DOUBLES THRUXTON
1 - BYRNE AT BRANDS
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