-- Alex Lowes secures maiden title with Samsung Honda
The Samsung Honda team is celebrating its fourth British Superbike Championship
title after Alex Lowes defeated Shane Byrne in the final race of the season at
Brands Hatch to become the youngest-ever BSB champion.
The triple-header event – which took place in mixed conditions – was packed with
drama that kept the fans on the edge of their seats and took the title fight
down to the final lap of the final race. Lowes took second place in the first
race of the weekend on Saturday, but a crash in the second race on Sunday would
have put him on the back foot had title rival Byrne not also crashed out,
leaving the Samsung Honda rider with a three-point advantage.
With Josh Brookes snatching an early and unchallengeable lead in the final race,
Lowes and Byrne went head-to-head for second place, battling fiercely for the
points that would ultimately award one of them the championship title. In the
end, it came down to the last lap and it was Lowes aboard the Samsung Honda
CBR1000RR Fireblade that had the edge, taking second place to secure his first –
and the team’s fourth – BSB crown. Freddy Foray finished thirteenth, tenth and
fourteenth as he deputised for Ryuichi Kiyonari.
In the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Jason O'Halloran missed out on
the podium in the Sprint race with a fifth place and crashed out whilst dicing
with the lead group in the final race. He ends the season in sixth place
Alex Lowes - "I’m pretty happy. It was an unbelievable last race, really
difficult, and I just didn’t know how fast to push. I saw on my pit signals that
Shane was closing on me and round here that is the last thing you wanted to see.
It was a case of keeping focussed and when Shane had got past me I knew that I
had to pass him if I wanted the title so I pushed on real hard. I had a few
moments but luckily kept it all together and beat him to take the title. To me
that really is incredible, because its always difficult with the weather playing
such a big part. Saturday’s race was hard – it was difficult to know where the
grip was so it was a case of keeping calm and then pushing hard. It felt pretty
good but it was quite slippery. In Sunday’s first race Josh Brookes touched my
bar and I went down – it was not my fault and I can’t be angry about something
that is out of my control. It was one of those things, unfortunate."
Freddy Foray - "To come into this championship for two rounds was not easy but
it was an opportunity that I could not turn down. I was more confident here than
at Silverstone even though the conditions were difficult. I didn’t want to make
any mistakes and was pleased to score points. I am very happy to have worked
with the team, who are all very friendly, and it has been very good experience
Jason O’Halloran - "That was not the way I wanted to finish off the season, but
that's racing. I was pushing to try and catch the lead group and I just folded
the front at Paddock Hill, which was obviously disappointing but it's been a
good second half to the season with podiums, pole positions and fastest laps. I
just want to say a big thanks to the whole Samsung Honda team for a great
Havier Beltran – Team Manager - "It was a fantastic end to 2013 for Samsung
Honda and Alex. The whole team and everyone involved worked so hard and I can’t
emphasise enough the effort that has gone into this season. Our partners and
everyone involved have done a superb job and that has put us where we are today.
Alex was so confident and I had little doubt that he would be able to do this
here at Brands Hatch and it was a fabulous end to a great season of BSB."
2013 British Superbike Championship final standings
1) Alex Lowes (HON) 643
2) Shane Byrne 636
3) Josh Brookes 621
4) James Ellison 589
5) James Westmoreland 564
6) Ryuichi Kiyonari (HON) 522