-- BSB 2013 - Round Eight - Cadwell Park
-- Lowes on pole; Brookesy pushes too hard
Datatag Extreme qualifying:
1: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 1m:26.708s
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.652s
3: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +1.003s
4: PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +1.026s
5: Tommy Bridewell (Halsall Racing Kawasaki) +1.178s
6: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +1.253s
Alex Lowes set a scintillating lap to claim his fifth pole start of the season ahead of the Bank Holiday Monday eighth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at his home round of Cadwell Park.
The Lincolnshire rider thrilled his legions of fans with a stunning lap as he headed off the challenge of series leading Shane Byrne by over half a second. The Samsung Honda rider believes that the home advantage will be key to his success, boosting both his current third place in the overall standings and also adding to his podium credits score.
After his remarkable lap of 1m 26.708secs, Lowes said: “All of the fans here are worth half a second a lap to me but as good as it is to be on pole, it does not count for anything as the races are what matters tomorrow. I know that they will be hard, but I am going to get a good early night to be ready for them and then will be giving everything.”
Byrne starts his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki alongside him, but still has work to if he is going to add to his tally of nine wins this season. He said: “We have been chipping away but I still feel like we are a session behind so we have a bit still to do in morning warm up and then it should be good for the races tomorrow, especially as there should be a huge crowd here.”
Both Lowes and Byrne have qualified for the title-deciding Showdown sequence of races but James Ellison has still to make the cut and the Milwaukee Yamaha rider is well placed to claim that this weekend having secured a front row start. Ellison’s position means that three different manufacturers feature on the front row for tomorrow’s opening race.
American PJ Jacobsen heads the second row on his Tyco Suzuki ahead of Halsall Kawasaki’s Tommy Bridewell and Samsung Honda’s three times title winner Ryuichi Kiyonari who needs strong results in these races to ease him into the Showdown.
Aussie Josh Brookes who currently holds second in the standings will start from the third row of the grid after he crashed out unhurt at Barn in the final qualifying session.
Brookes said: “We’ve gone away from the normal strategy this weekend and are trying a few things, but to fall off was just me trying hard. You get to the final qualifying and I wanted to try as hard as I could and I just pushed the front. It was never going to be an amazing lap but it was definitely one of the best laps that I’d been on. I’m not hurt and the bike is not too bad so we should be in good shape for the opening race tomorrow.”
The Buildbase BMW pairing also had a challenging qualifying session as they bid for a position in the top six ahead of the Showdown with James Westmoreland and Jon Kirkham starting eleventh and eighteenth respectively.
-- Milwaukee Yamaha Report
Milwaukee Yamaha’s James Ellison will start from the front row for tomorrow’s opening race at the eighth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Cadwell Park after qualifying third on the grid.
Ellison continued improving his pace in the final free practice session in preparation for the qualifying session and the team’s hard work paid off as he was able to set his best lap time at the Lincolnshire circuit with a time of 1m:27.711s. Waters continued to make further improvement and he will start on the fifth row of the grid from thirteenth position.
Ellison said: “I am pleased with a front row start today as that is what we needed here at Cadwell Park. We always find more in the race and for the final rounds I knew we needed to up our game in qualifying. It was a really close session but we managed to get a front row for Milwaukee Yamaha and that was the best lap I have done around this circuit. Hopefully our consistency pays off tomorrow because we want to be pushing for two podiums as we need to get our place in the Showdown confirmed now.”
Waters said: “We made some more improvements since yesterday as this is a very different circuit to what we have raced on so far this year. I am enjoying the challenge of this track though and I know I still need to improve in the final sector because that is where I have been losing time today. I will be trying my best in the races tomorrow.”
-- Tyco Suzuki Report
Tyco Suzuki's American sensation PJ Jacobsen produced a stunning debut performance earlier today at Cadwell Park, qualifying his GSX-R1000 in fourth place for tomorrow's opening race of the British Superbike Championship eighth round.
His team-mate Josh Brookes crashed out whilst on a hot lap during the final stages of the 'Q3' qualifying session, but still managed seventh place for tomorrow's opening race at the Bank Holiday meeting in Lincolnshire.
A delighted but pragmatic 20-year-old Jacobsen said: "Yeah it was a good qualifying for the first time being here I guess. I'm happy enough with fourth. I rode the best I could there in qualifying and the boys did a great job with my Tyco Suzuki. We've just made little improvements as the weekend has gone on, and as I get more and more confidence over the jump, I think we can get an even better lap time - but yeah all good."
Josh Brookes was also upbeat after qualifying despite his crash at Barn, saying: "Even without the crash we were a little slower than we needed to be, but I knew that would be the case as we're trying things with the bike and using this as an opportunity to unveil anything that we haven't tried or discovered before. We've gone away from the normal strategy this weekend and are trying a few things, but to fall off was just me trying hard. You get to the final qualifying and I wanted to try as hard as I could and I just pushed the front. It was never going to be an amazing lap but it was definitely one of the best laps that I'd been on. I'm not hurt and the bike is not too bad so we should be in good shape for the opening race tomorrow."
Team Manager Philip Neill added: "We never like to get carried away in this team, but that was a very impressive debut performance at Cadwell Park on a Superbike by anyone's standards. PJ has chipped away and made great progress all weekend and fourth place is credit to PJ, his crew and the GSX-R1000. Josh had a little slip-off at the end, but we can't fault him for trying hard. There's no major damage done to bike or rider and although the third row is not ideal, Josh has the experience and determination not to let it be an obstacle."
-- Previously..... BSB 2013 - Round Seven - Oulton Park - Byrne makes it 50 wins while Brookes
also enjoys a win
1: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha)
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.186s
3: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +1.923s
4: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +4.326s
5: Tommy Bridewell (Halsall Racing Kawasaki) +5.010s
6: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +9.960s
Sunday race one :
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.173s
3: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) +0.932s
4: Tommy Bridewell (Halsall Racing Kawasaki) +9.532s
5: Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +15.772s
6: PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +18.343s
Sunday race two:
1: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki)
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.246s
3: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +0.836s
4: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +1.070s
5: Tommy Bridewell (Halsall Racing Kawasaki) +1.237s
6: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +18.465s
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 297
2: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 268
3: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 243
4: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) 158
5: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) 142
6: Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) 126
Shane “Shakey” Byrne completed a milestone 50th victory in the seventh round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park amid three hard-fought races in which three different riders (Ellison, Byrne, Brookes) and three different manufacturers (Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki) all celebrated victories.
Milwaukee Yamaha’s Ellison had denied Byrne in Saturday’s race by 0.186 seconds, in a frantic affair that set the pattern for the weekend with Lowes completing the podium.
However in race two Byrne pushed the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki to the limit during the race to keep Lowes and Ellison behind him in the early stages. Brookes was aggressively pushing to take the advantage from his leading rival over the final laps but the defending champion had the edge.
Byrne celebrated the victory by 0.173 seconds from Brookes, but there was despair for Ellison who crashed out of third at high-speed with three laps remaining. Lowes also had his aspirations of a podium shattered when he slid off at Lodge on the final corner of the last lap handing third place to his Samsung Honda team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari.
Byrne reflected that it was mix of elation and relief that he had completed a record haul of 50 victories: “They kept me honest all of the way in that race! It is a fantastic feeling, but I went into the race feeling quite nervous after missing out on Saturday in such a close race. We are all riding absolutely on the limit so to get level or pass someone you are going beyond your comfort zone. That 50th win was for my team manager Paul Bird as he has played such a massive part in my career.”
Byrne was targeting an action replay in the final race of the weekend as he set the early benchmark at the front of the pack with Ellison in close contention before being taken by Brookes in the closing stages. The Aussie, who had not previously won at the circuit, had a point to prove and after a huge duel with Lowes took the fight to Byrne.
Brookes snatched the lead at Shell Oils corner with five laps remaining to take his second victory of the season and he said: “From the first lap, I pushed and pushed. I was going as hard as I could to win for the first time here as in the past I have had great performances and still finished second or third. I got my head down and got ahead of Shakey to take the victory which is fantastic for me and the Tyco Suzuki team.”
Byrne claimed another podium finish with a second place ahead of Lowes in third. Ellison bounced back from his race two crash to finish fourth ahead of Tommy Bridewell who completed a highly successful debut with Halsall Kawasaki team.
At the end of the seventh round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship the leading three riders in the standings, Byrne, Brookes and Lowes, have now secured their position as Title Fighters in the end of season Showdown. Kawasaki, Suzuki and Honda are now confirmed to be in the top six for the title fight.
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Race 1 - 10 laps
1 Stuart Easton (Yamaha)
2 Alastair Seeley (Kawasaki)
3 Ben Wilson (Kawasaki)
4 Jason O'Halloran (Honda)
5 Glen Richards (Smiths Racing Triumph)
6 Graeme Gowland (Yamaha)
DNF Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Triumph)
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Race 2 - 15 laps
1 Alastair Seeley (Kawasaki)
2 Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Triumph)
3 Jason O'Halloran (Honda)
4 Stuart Easton (Yamaha)
5 Glen Richards (Smiths Racing Triumph)
6 Graeme Gowland (Yamaha)
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship standings (after seven rounds)
1 Seeley 295pts
2 Easton 248
3 Wilson 205
4 McConnell 190
5 Gowland 158
6 O'Halloran 108
7 Richards 102
-- Samsung Honda
Samsung Honda’s Alex Lowes has secured his position in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Showdown following a double podium finish at the Oulton Park triple-header this weekend, while teammate Ryuichi Kiyonari and Supersport rider Jason O’Halloran also shared podium success.
In the opening race of the weekend, pole-sitter Lowes claimed a hard fought third place after a race-long battle with James Ellison and Shane Byrne. Kiyonari had an equally tough battle on his hands after qualifying seventeenth, but a determined race saw him carve his way up the order to finish sixth.
Race two saw Lowes pushing for the podium once again, closely pursued by team-mate Kiyonari. On the final lap however, Lowes lost the front of his bike on the exit of Lodge and crashed out of third place, handing the podium to Kiyonari, who claimed his fourth podium finish of the season.
In the final race of the day, Lowes was fired up to make amends. He kept his cool despite a safety car period and claimed another third place, securing his position in the Showdown. Kiyonari had been in the leading pack until a move by Tommy Bridewell caused him to run on at Hizzys chicane, dropping him to the back of the pack. After a string of consistent laps and overtakes, he moved back up to tenth in the closing stages.
In the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Jason O'Halloran celebrated his best weekend of the season. After securing a fourth place in the Sprint race, he then went on to better his performance in the Feature race with a hard-fought third place to claim his first podium finish of the season for Samsung Honda.
Havier Beltran – Team Manager
There were mixed fortunes for our BSB riders. I am pleased with the progress that Alex and Kiyo are making but they’re just not taking the victories as there are still a few issues to resolve. Both riders worked hard this week but we had to compromise on settings and that can be frustrating, we need to resolve that. Podium credits are what Alex needs now as that’s crucial and will play a big part in coming rounds. It’s still close with the others in the Showdown positions so Kiyo needs to maintain his progress. It was a mega race in Supersport for Jason, he said he would get the holeshot and he did, he rode incredibly well and was so committed. It was great to see him at the sharp end and I’m very happy for him.
It’s been a hard weekend, probably the hardest of the year – we have stood still since we raced here back in May and the rest have got a bit better and I’m not as competitive as I want to be. I’ve given everything in these races and really do not have a lot to show for it. Even so I’ve qualified for the Showdown and I enjoyed that last race and hope that it is a sign of things to come when we get into the actual Showdown.
I was very happy with my podium finish but a little disappointed with my pace. I made a reasonable start in the last race but Tommy Bridewell made a move on me at the chicane that was a little bit tight and I didn’t want to crash, so I ran on. I didn’t want to incur a penalty so I waited to rejoin and then did a lot of passing to comeback into tenth place.
This is a combination of relief and delight. We are starting to find the pace and get a better setting. I’m much more comfortable on the bike and stuck to the pace in the race. Seeley and McConnell rode well and I didn’t want to miss out on the podium so I pushed all the way. It was a great race and I am just relieved to be up at the front. Now for Cadwell, a circuit I like and where we have a test tomorrow (Monday) so we'll come out fighting.
-- Tyco Suzuki
Josh Brookes took his first-ever British Superbike victory at the Oulton Park Triple-Header event for Tyco Suzuki, making it two wins from 11 podiums so far this season aboard the GSX-R1000 and guaranteeing his place in the end-of-season Top Six Showdown.
The Australian also took second place in Sunday's opening BSB race; his team-mate PJ Jacobsen was sixth in the opening encounter, with a mechanical problem forcing a retirement in race two for the American when another top six result was on the cards. Tyco Suzuki's Taylor Mackenzie was eighth in the second British Supersport race aboard his GSX-R600.
Josh Brookes: "One of the guys said to me 'that race was all about heart', but to be honest it took more heart for me to finish fourth in the opening race of the weekend yesterday, when we still hadn't mastered our set-up. In the end we had the package sorted on the GSX-R1000 and when it works I can ride to my true potential as I showed today. It was a real battle but I wasn't prepared to lose that one and we now go to Cadwell looking for more podium credits as the all-important Showdown edges closer."
PJ Jacobsen: "The first race was good, although I suffered from a little bit of a grip issue, but I was happy with sixth. In the second race I had far better grip and was ready to follow Bridewell through onto that front group. I'd just set the fastest first sector before we had to retire, but I've proved this weekend that I'm ready to tag onto those front guys. I'm ready now to hit that jump at Cadwell in two weeks' time."
Taylor Mackenzie: "Yeah that was better today and I really enjoyed it, apart from Glenn Irwin running into the side of me late in the race, which snapped the end off my clutch lever. We have made progress and I've gone faster again at Oulton, so it's a matter of getting geared-up for Cadwell Park now."
Philip Neill - Team Manager: "We always said that Josh is a racer. We did have a slow start to the weekend with a problem that was later traced to a fuel injector. It significantly hampered Josh and his crew from finding the perfect set-up at the start of the weekend. As usual his crew worked their magic and turned the bike around for race day and Josh excelled once again on his GSX-R1000 Superbike. He rode perhaps one of the best races of his BSB career today to capture his first win at Oulton Park.
"For PJ it was the opposite story. He had a phenomenal start to the weekend and a disappointing end, but overall it confirmed the natural talent and ability we knew he possessed after his stand-in rides last year. He certainly proved he's capable of running at the front. It's just a shame we had a technical issue with his bike in the second race today, as it looked like he was coming home with another strong top-six result.
"We are also happy with Taylor's result in today's Supersport race. The only thing keeping him out of that top six is his pace in the opening laps, but it will come and he's applying himself exactly as I expected he would."
-- PBM Report
Reigning MCE British Superbike Champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne took his winning tally to an historic 50th career victory as he celebrated clinching his place in the end of season Showdown with another superb performance at round seven of the series at Oulton Park this weekend.
Aboard the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki ZX-10R, the Sittingbourne rider qualified for the weekend's triple header in a strong second place before opening his account with a close second behind James Ellison in Saturday's race, finishing just a tenth of a second behind his rival at the chequered flag.
However, with the fastest lap of the race, the triple MCE BSB champion started race two today from pole position before taking the lead on the eighth lap whereby he was never headed again despite coming under intense pressure from firstly Ellison and then Josh Brookes, but he held on to take his ninth victory of the season.
In the final race of the busy weekend, the 36-year-old had to give second best to Brookes but the points gained from the three races saw him extend his lead in the title race but significantly, increased the important Podium Credits to 33 with four more races to go before the all-important Showdown commences.
Team-mate Keith Farmer had the worst possible start to his weekend when a crash in Friday's free practice session destroyed his Minxflix supported Paul Bird Motorsport Kawasaki ZX-10R. The Penrith-based team worked wonders to repair the machine and the Clogher, Co Tyrone rider made it through to the final stages of qualifying only to crash out of the first race when a hose broke and sprayed water onto the rear tyre.
The team managed to repair the machine in time for him to start at the back of the grid whereby he battled to a well deserved 11th in the restart. Today, he improved further with seventh and eighth place finishes to keep himself in contention for the final Showdown spot.
Shane Byrne: "It's great to have finally got the 50th career win and with a large percentage of those having come on Paul's bikes; I'd like to dedicate that to him. He's been such an integral part of my career and it's great to be in the position we're in this year. The races were tough all weekend as we were all so evenly matched, Saturday's being a prime example where James was quicker in the first part of the lap and I was quicker in the second half. He could edge away to begin with so all I could do was close the gap without actually getting close enough to make a pass!
"That was in my mind today and I wanted to hit the front as soon as possible and stay smooth, which is how it panned out in the first race even if I couldn't pull away. I tried to adopt the same strategy in the final race but I used too much of my tyre in the first part of the race so that when Josh came by, I didn't have a lot to give. We've ended the weekend with a win and two seconds so it's been a good meeting for us."
Keith Farmer: "Friday's crash caused a lot of damage to the bike and it left me very stiff and sore for the races, today more so than Saturday whilst my confidence obviously took a huge hit. Things then went from bad to worse with a spill in Saturday's race and after that I just wanted to get some decent top ten finishes, with no heroics, so it was pleasing to achieve that and end the weekend positively. The team did a superb job to give me a brand new bike and the encouragement and advice from Paul meant a lot and allowed me to go out and ride how I wanted."
Paul Bird, Team Owner: "Shakey's landmark 50th career win shows what a true legend he is and we as a team are delighted for him. Now he's qualified for the Showdown we can concentrate on improving the bike and hope to add to the number of victories over the rest of the season. We could have done without Keith's crash on Friday but these things happen and fair play to the team for building a new bike and to him for bouncing back and scoring some good points over the weekend."
-- Milwaukee Yamaha
The Milwaukee Yamaha team ended the seventh round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship narrowly missing out on another podium finish for James Ellison following his sensational victory in the opening race of the weekend at Oulton Park.
Ellison had won the first race of the triple-header event in style and was confident ahead of race two as he continues his bid to secure a Showdown position. Ellison had been in the leading group in the second race as he pushed up to second place but on the fourteenth lap a move by Alex Lowes pushed him wide at Island, causing him to run off the track and subsequently crashing out of a potential podium position.
In the final race of the weekend Ellison was determined to make amends for the disappointment of race two and he was once again in the leading group of riders in contention for the win. Ellison was fighting hard but was forced to finish in fourth, but still holds fourth position in the overall standings with four races remaining ahead of the Showdown.
Australian Josh Waters came close to the top ten in race two in eleventh place, but could only score one point for fifteenth place in race three.
Ellison said: “I am disappointed with the crash in race two, but feel I rode really strongly and I have to look at the positives in that. We had a win and a fourth place this weekend so we still kept fourth in the overall standings with two race weekends left before the Showdown. The team gave me a really good bike again this weekend and I enjoyed every session and lap of the race on the Milwaukee Yamaha. We proved again we can run at the front and am confident we will be in the title fight.”
Waters said: “It was another two tough races for us today and we tried to make some changes but although we felt like we made improvements, in the races I didn’t get great starts and that made it harder in the races. We will have to look at what we can do now ready for Cadwell Park.”
Team co-ordinator Mick Shanley concluded: “It has been an up and down weekend and again we have struggled to get a solid weekend under our belts. In the first race James rode superbly and it was a really deserved win but then we tried to keep the ball rolling today and an over ambitious move from Alex Lowes left him nowhere to go but off the track. He bounced back with a pretty good race three to finish fourth and again we showed we have the pace to run at the front but we still have a few things still to work on for the Showdown. With Josh we have tried some new settings this weekend but he is still struggling so we need to keep digging and see what we can do for Cadwell Park.”
-- Smiths Triumph
The Gloucester-based Smiths Racing Triumph had a strong weekend at Oulton Park where they were competing in round seven of the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship and it ended on a high with Billy McConnell taking an excellent second place to take their first podium since Snetterton at the beginning of July.
Defending British champion team-mate Glen Richards and McConnell qualified in fourth and sixth respectively for Saturday's 10-lap Sprint race and the Australian pairing immediately slotted into the top six. Pushing on for a podium position, McConnell slid out of the action on the exit of Hizzys at half race distance which left Glen to fly the flag for the team. Richards was briefly delayed when Jason O'Halloran took to the grass in front of him but it was enough for the leading trio to make a break and Glen had to settle for fifth at the chequered flag taking the consolation of setting the second fastest lap of the race.
Today's longer 15-lap Feature race was yet another hectic encounter and at some stages only one second separated the top eight riders and both Billy and Glen were in the midst of the action. As the race entered its second half, Billy began to utilise an outside line around Shell Oils Corner and on the penultimate lap he seized second which he was able to keep until the chequered flag, just missing the race win by less than half a second. Team-mate Richards was a second further back in fifth after another hard fought race.
Billy McConnell: "It's great to bounce back after a disappointing result on Saturday and I knew I had the pace to get on the podium this weekend. The bike's working well with the new parts and whilst it's still no victory, we're getting closer. We've all had time to think a lot more about what we're doing this year and that could be seen in me using some distinctive lines but you have to do what you can to overtake and get to the front!"
Glen Richards: "Whilst I'm disappointed not to get my first podium of the season, the shoulder I injured at Knockhill was much better and I was pleased to be in the group battling for the win. The Triumph Daytona 675R is getting stronger all the time and it's only a matter of time before we get it on top of the podium so we'll keep working to that goal."
Rebecca Smith: "We're all so relieved to get back onto the podium as it seems to have been a long time since we were last there. We've made major steps forward this weekend, both with the work our technicians Jason and JT have done on the engine and also with the new Arrow exhausts which have boosted the confidence of the riders. Billy's ride today was one of the best I've ever seen him have and you only have to look back at May's meeting here to see how far we've improved. Both Billy and Glen have worked incredibly hard this season both with the bike and with themselves, seeing how they can improve, and we're starting to see the benefits now. Glen's chipping away getting consistent results now and we're closer to the front than what we've been all year so we're feeling confident going into the next few rounds."
Despite the DNF on Saturday, McConnell retained his fourth place in the series with Richards dropping one place to seventh in the standings going into the next round at Cadwell Park on August 24/26th
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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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