— BSB Title Decider looms
A single point separates Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and Alex Lowes ahead of the final three races of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship this weekend (18/19/20 October) as the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit is set to host another exhilarating title-deciding finale.
Byrne returns to his home circuit targeting a record-breaking fourth MCE BSB crown after a heroic ride at Silverstone when a huge free practice crash left him on crutches and battling the pain. Young gun Lowes has been his nemesis throughout the season – the pair have been virtually inseparable and last time out at Silverstone they shared the wins as race two was decided by 0.012 seconds and a photo finish!
Byrne said: “I am feeling a lot better now than I was straight after Silverstone. I have had more physio and been back in training so I am in the best possible shape ready for Brands Hatch. Two big crashes within two weekends unfortunately have left me a bit battle scarred but I’m ready to come out fighting that’s for sure; we certainly never came this far to give up now! I think the final round will be similar to the rest as it has been so close between myself and Alex but hopefully I get the balance in my direction at Brands Hatch! We have had some great battles and with only one point between us we both know that we need to beat each other. To be honest no words can describe what winning the title again would mean to me because it is worth far more than I can say. I will be giving everything.”
Lowes said: “I am feeling good ahead of Brands Hatch; all season we have worked so hard to be in this position for the final round and we have as good a chance of winning as anyone. It has been a great season and we have had some awesome races but we need to win again at Brands Hatch because that is going to decide the championship. We have all had a really good season and we have had great competition between us – myself, Shakey plus James and Josh and I am sure they will all be strong again this weekend. I have everything in place to do the job and it is now down to me.”
Byrne and Lowes head the title chase by 42 points from third placed James Ellison but a wrong move from the leading pair could see Milwaukee Yamaha’s Ellison or Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes snatch the advantage at the crucial stages of the 2013 season.
— Milwaukee Yamaha Preview
The Milwaukee Yamaha team return to Brands Hatch in Kent this weekend for the final round of the 2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship with James Ellison still mathematically in the hunt for the title and team-mate Tommy Bridewell aiming to add to his tally of podium finishes.
Ellison is 42 points adrift of standings leader Shane Byrne but knows that with a maximum of 75 points still available from the triple-header weekend he could still elevate himself higher than third in the standings. Ellison was victorious at the circuit on the Indy configuration at the start of the season and was on the podium back in August so has high hopes ahead of the season finale. On the opposite side of the garage Bridewell has scored three podium finishes from four races after joining the team at Assen and is fully focused on carrying that momentum into the last three races of the season.Ellison said: “At Brands Hatch there is only one thing we can do and that is to go out and win all three races. The lead might have stretched in the points but I haven’t given up on the title yet because as we saw at Assen in this championship anything can happen and it usually does during the Showdown! I will be pushing hard all weekend because we can do nothing more than try and score those three race wins and there is no reason why we can’t do that. I feel happy ahead of Brands Hatch as we have had some strong races there already this season and we will do everything we can. I have been working harder than ever on my training as they are going to be three long, hard races but we will be ready.”
Bridewell said: “I am obviously looking forward to it as it could be an even better round for us after Assen and Silverstone. We have the potential for another good result and all credit has to go to the team because I have been able to adapt so fast to the Yamaha and have been able to deliver those podiums because of their experience and hard work. I am going to Brands Hatch desperately hoping I can get my maiden race win or at least podiums and I will be pushing as hard as possible to make that happen. My goal is always to do the best job I can and the beauty here is that I am not part of the championship in terms of having a title to lose so there will be no rolling off at Brands Hatch.”
— Samsung Honda Preview
Samsung Honda is preparing for the final round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend as Alex Lowes bids to secure his maiden title and the fourth BSB crown for the team.
Lowes arrives at the final round just one point adrift of standings leader Shane Byrne and having won two of the four Showdown races, he is feeling confident ahead of the triple-header event. Frenchman Freddy Foray will join Lowes at the season finale, competing once again as a replacement for Ryuichi Kiyonari, who is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in a training accident.
In the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Jason O’Halloran is determined to make amends after a double non-point score at Silverstone, despite proving he had the pace to challenge for the team’s first win of the season.
Alex Lowes – I’m feeling good heading to Brands Hatch. I’m sure I’ll be nervous come the races because that’s just normal, but all season we’ve worked so hard to be in this position for the final round and we have as good a chance of winning as anyone. We need to win races at Brands Hatch because that’s going to decide the championship. I have everything in place to do the job now and it’s down to me.
Freddy Foray – I know an injury is always difficult for a rider, so I wish Kiyo all the best. I’m pleased to be back with Samsung Honda in BSB again this weekend and I hope we have a very good finale. I’m looking forward to working with all the team again because now I know the bike better I’m going to enjoy it more and we have three chances in the three races.
Jason O’Halloran – I can’t believe it is the final round already but I’m looking forward to the two races this weekend. I had two fifths when we raced on the Grand Prix circuit earlier in the season but we’ve improved a lot since then and we’ve definitely closed on the lead group and have been consistently pushing for podiums. Silverstone was disappointing and we were in contention for the wins so hopefully we can achieve that at Brands Hatch this weekend because we have worked hard for it!
Havier Beltran – team manager – Brands Hatch is going to be a big weekend for the Samsung Honda team and like Alex said, we have been working hard all season to be in this position to fight for the title. Alex has continued to carry that momentum throughout the Showdown but we all know that we have to maintain that level of performance and beat Shane Byrne if we are going to win the title. We are disappointed that Kiyo in unable to return this weekend but we have Freddy back for a second event and having improved throughout the Silverstone round, we expect to see more from him this weekend. In the Supersport class Jason was desperately unlucky at Silverstone but we have put that behind us and intend on finishing the season on a high.
1:Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 604
2:Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 603
3:James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) 562
4:Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 546
5:James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) 534
6:Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) 522
— — BSB Supersport Title to be decided this weekend at Brands Hatch
The Motorpoint British Supersport Championship goes down to the wire at the season finale at Brands Hatch after last weekend’s penultimate round at Silverstone and Stuart Easton holds a 19 point advantage despite crashing out of the first race of the weekend.
Easton and Seeley have been pushing each other all season for the title and in the Sprint race on Saturday the Martrain Yamaha rider crashed out on the opening lap which gave his Gearlink Kawasaki rider the chance to close the deficit. Seeley won the race following a dramatic scrap with Billy McConnell on the Smiths Racing Triumph and Techcare Profile Triumph’s Luke Mossey.
Seeley aimed to do the double as Easton ran further down the order and at the front the Gearlink Kawasaki rider was tussling in the lead pack of Mossey, McConnell and Jason O’Halloran. However an incident on the eleventh lap between Seeley and O’Halloran as he attempted to make a pass left the Samsung Honda rider crashing out of the race. The incident was reviewed after the race and despite Seeley finishing on the podium he was handed a ten second time penalty, which dropped him to tenth. Mossey had already claimed his first win of the season for the Techcare Profile Triumph team ahead of McConnell.
Easton who leads going into the double-header finale, said: “It was a tough weekend and what happened on Saturday was my fault. The team gave me a great bike as usual and my plan was to get the front and drop the hammer, which I did do. Unfortunately, I think probably a cold tyre, combined with the slightly colder conditions caught me out. We picked ourselves up overnight and went into the race, but having lost all the data yesterday I struggled on a couple of corners, but the bike was fast as usual. It managed to keep me in the fight and we go to Brands Hatch with all to play for.”
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Silverstone, Feature race result:
1. Alastair Seeley (Gearlink Kawasaki)
2. Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Triumph) +0.570s
3. Luke Mossey (Techcare Profile Triumph) +0.676s
4. Glen Richards (Smiths Racing Triumph) +4.134s
5. Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +9.480s
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Silverstone, Feature race result:
1. Luke Mossey (Techcare Profile Triumph)
2. Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Triumph) +0.140s
3. Stuart Easton (Martrain Yamaha) +2.247s
4. Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +2.607s
5. Graeme Gowland (Appleyard Macadam Racing Yamaha) +2.657s
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship standings after Silverstone:
1. Stuart Easton (Martrain Yamaha) 392
2. Alastair Seeley (Gearlink Kawasaki) 373
3. Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Triumph) 314
4. Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) 303
5. Graeme Gowland (Appleyard Macadam Racing Yamaha) 237
— Byrne leads by one point after Silverstone Showdown
Shane Byrne pulled off one of the most remarkable victories in his career to maintain his single point advantage over Alex Lowes in the chase for the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in a dramatic penultimate round at Silverstone.
The three times winner of the country’s premier crown could only walk with the aid of crutches after high-siding off his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki and slamming down heavily on the Luffield section of the Northamptonshire circuit, painfully bashing his right hip during Saturday’s free practice.
Lengthy physio and pain-killers had Byrne back on track to face the challenge of Lowes who was brimming with confidence after powering his Samsung Honda to his seventh pole position but as the adrenalin kicked in, Byrne was full of fight in two frantic encounters which both were decided on the last corner.
Lowes grabbed the first by 0.094 seconds and looked to have done just enough to complete the double but Byrne had other ideas and shrugged aside the pain to snatch the advantage in the last corner and then win the dash to the line by 0.012secs in a photo finish.
Byrne said: “I’m just ecstatic to have that win – I thought I had a plan for the race but we both upped the pace and it came down to the last lap and I wasn’t sure if I could get him. I got a run on him and he started a little bit wide into the last corner and I got the drive and just did it – I was thinking of a strong second but then the red mist came down and I went for it.
“In the first race I made a pass on Alex then made a bit of mistake, running a bit too fast into a corner as I got a bit too excited and we were both on the limit. It was amazing, my front wheel was on top of the kerb, it was so close I thought we would touch, so I rolled it off a bit and he got me,” he added.
Lowes who now counts down to the Brands Hatch season finale said: “You don’t race to come second, but having said that you have to take your hat off to him for him for doing what he did, and races like that are what you live for. There were some epic battles today that I really enjoyed. There was no way I could get rid of Shakey.”
Tommy Bridewell took third place in each of the races aboard his Milwaukee Yamaha with his Title Fighter team-mate James Ellison taking a fighting fifth in the opener, carving through from the sixth row of the grid after a qualifying crash. Ellison then overcame a huge moment in race two when he saved a high-side and was off the seat but holding on before remounting at speed to salvage fourth place. He remained third in the standings ahead of Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes who was sidelined by a machine issue in the first race but fifth next time out ahead of the triple-header decider at Brands Hatch.
— Milwaukee Yamaha Report
The Milwaukee Yamaha team returned to the podium at Silverstone today at the penultimate round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship as Tommy Bridewell claimed a pair of third places whilst James Ellison scored a fifth and a fourth place.
In the opening race of the day Bridewell fought his way up to third over the opening laps, passing the Tyco Suzuki pairing of Josh Brookes and PJ Jacobsen. Bridewell then aimed to close the gap to the lead pair and claiming third place. Ellison charged through from his sixth row start to make up nine places on the opening lap, continuing to move up the order to score a fifth place.
Race two was another strong performance from Bridewell as he scored his best performance in the championship with his first double podium finish with another strong third place finish, breaking away from the pack. Ellison had been in close contention with his team-mate until he suffered a huge moment on the seventh lap; he saved a huge high-side by holding onto the bike despite being completely out of the seat and off to the side of the Milwaukee Yamaha. The moment dropped Ellison back off the pack but he closed back to claim fourth place.
Ellison said: “I am still annoyed with myself here as it should have been more here this weekend. The first race we were on the back foot because of qualifying and it started well; I passed nine people on the first lap but we had made a tiny change and the bike wasn’t handling the same as it was when we did our best lap in free practice three. We thought it would have helped and fifth was the best we could. I didn’t get a great start in race two but was then up behind the Tyco Suzuki boys and I was desperate to get passed. I took a big handful of throttle at Vale and before I knew it I was looking at the sky! I thought just don’t touch the floor and I just kept the throttle open and was lucky enough to get on – those sit ups in the gym and the core strength paid off! I certainly haven’t given up on the title yet because there are still three race wins to be had at Brands Hatch.”
Bridewell said: “The first race was a bit messy to begin with and I didn’t get the start I needed but after a few laps I managed to get behind Josh and PJ and it turned into a good race. I enjoyed it a lot, I was sat behind PJ for a lot of laps and I knew I had to pass him, but I just couldn’t and when I did I then couldn’t lose him which was great. The second race was difficult as I got behind Josh and PJ at the start again and I knew I had the pace to run with Alex and Shakey so I needed to get passed them fast. By the time I did the lead two had dropped me and I didn’t have the pace to catch them. I think we are just lacking that extra two tenths even though our pace was fast but I am happy as this is my first double podium and I am pleased with how I rode. The Milwaukee Yamaha team have done a phenomenal job to turn it around for me since Friday so we will see what we can do at Brands Hatch.”
Team owner Shaun Muir concluded: “It was another weekend of mixed fortunes for the team. James’ qualifying performance put himself on the back foot and made it a tall order for race one. In race two he was stuck in a battle and then had that big moment which lost him the chance of a better result and it does feel like the championship is going to be difficult now but we will keep pushing. Tommy picked up two podiums which was good to see and his confidence is growing all the time. We now need to try and end the season on a high at Brands Hatch in two weeks time.”
— Lowes takes Pole
Datatag Extreme Qualifying:
1: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 2m:05.724s
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.554s
3: PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +0.596s
4: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +1.046s
5: Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +1.176s
6: Peter Hickman (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +1.272s
Samsung Honda’s Alex Lowes scorched inside the Silverstone lap record to score his seventh pole position of the season ahead of the penultimate round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship as he out-paced the battered and bruised series leader Shane Byrne.
Byrne had suffered a huge high-side off his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki at Luffield during the morning free practice session and the defending champion dramatically landed heavily on his right hip. Byrne had spent the majority of the afternoon receiving physio with the series’ medical team at the track before being given the go-ahead to take part in qualifying minutes before the start of the session. He was helped to his bike and then sensationally delivered a fast lap to secure an all-important front row start.
“The bike just came round on me and flipped over the top and and I landed heavily on my side,” said Byrne. “I’m just relieved to have got out there for qualifying. I don’t know what I’ve done but it was not very comfortable. The medics did a lot of work to get me out there and I have to thank them for that as the time before qualifying has just disappeared!”
Byrne takes a single point lead into these races over Samsung Honda riding Lowes who had worked hard across the day to perfect the settings of his bike. Lowes said: “It was a lot better in qualifying than it had been earlier when I was struggling a bit, but I enjoyed that session and we can do a bit more before the races which are when the real action starts. I think it will be close in the races tomorrow but hopefully not as close as Assen!”
New Yorker PJ Jacobsen completed the front row, easing his title chasing Tyco Suzuki team-mate Josh Brookes onto the second row of the grid in fourth. Jon Kirkham and the Buildbase BMW team became the fourth manufacturer to feature in the top five ahead of Peter Hickman, having his best qualifying of the season, running sixth on the Lloyds British GBmoto Honda.
But two other Title Fighters, James Westmoreland and James Ellison face uphill struggles in the opening race. Westmoreland starts his Buildbase BMW from the third row in ninth, but James Ellison who crashed his Milwaukee Yamaha without injury on his first flying lap in qualifying starts from the sixth row.
— Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship qualifying
Manxman Callan Cooper continued his late season pace to put his CF Yamaha on pole running 0.040secs up on Ben Godfrey aboard the BMC/Blinds4U Yamaha with title chasing Luke Hedger completing the front row on his Gearlink Kawasaki. Jordan Simpkin, the Team AHR GoRacing Yamaha, who leads the title chase by ten points from Hedger, starts from the second row, fourth fastest.
— Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship qualifying
Josh Wainwright powered his Be Wiser Kawasaki onto pole start with a lap in 2m 10.081secs, running a tenth of a second up on ILR Kawasaki riding Filip Backlund with Joe Burns third fastest on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki while series leading Hudson Kennaugh heads the second row, fourth fastest, and looking good to extending his three points advantage over Adam Jenkinson who starts from the fourth row, eleventh fastest.
— Milwaukee Yamaha Report
The Milwaukee Yamaha team ended the Datatag Extreme qualifying sessions today in a determined mood ahead of tomorrow’s races as James Ellison and Tommy Bridewell have vowed to fight back at Silverstone.
Ellison had set the pace in the third free practice session and was confident for qualifying however a mistake on his first flying lap of Q2 caused him to crash out and he will start from the sixth row of the grid in eighteenth on the grid. Bridewell had made some further changes throughout the day and was feeling more comfortable as he again qualified for the Q3 session, ending eighth fastest.
Ellison said: “I am gutted for the Milwaukee Yamaha team as I just lost the rear on my first lap. I felt I had the heat in my tyre and I just lost the rear; usually it just drifts for a while and then grips but it just carried on sliding and that was it. I obviously didn’t get enough heat in it but it has made me even more determined for the races tomorrow. It is a long lap here and a wide track and we know we can do the race pace times to win so we just need to try and get a good start to get away with the pack.”
Bridewell said: “We have made some steps in the right direction today but we are a little bit behind because we went in the wrong direction a bit yesterday, but we have managed to get it back and make it better for qualifying. We have a few things to change tomorrow and I am feeling a lot happier and more comfortable on the bike here. Our race pace is good so we will see what we can do in the races.”
— Lowes tops day one at Silverstone
Free practice one:
1: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 2m:25.509s
2: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.657s
3: Josh Waters (Halsall Racing Kawasaki) +1.472s
4: Jakub Smrz (Padgetts Honda) +1.801s
5: PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +1.975s
6: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +2.207s
Free practice two:
1: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 2m:08.651s
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.251s
3: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.261s
4: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.437s
5: Jakub Smrz (Padgetts Honda) +0.895s
6: Matteo Baiocco (Rapido Sport Racing Ducati) +0.910s
Alex Lowes waited until the final seconds to upstage his MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship rivals in a last lap dash to steal the top spot ahead of series leading Shane Byrne in free practice for the penultimate round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Silverstone.
The stage is set for the pair to resume their frantic battle for the crown after the previous round at Assen where Lowes took his seventh victory to close within a point of Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider Byrne before an incident in the second saw Byrne crash and Lowes excluded from the race.
The pair are now ready to tussle for the two wins on Sunday with Byrne deciding to sport a racing helmet bearing the message: “Warning – objects ahead may be closer than they appear.”
Lowes sat out the morning damp session, which was led by Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes, but put in a number of consistent laps aboard his Samsung Honda in the afternoon. “It was good, though still a bit damp in places and we got some good data together. The bike was good and I love this circuit so now I am looking forward confidently to the rest of the weekend. It was a case of getting out there, doing the job but not doing anything silly as there is a lot on the line in these last two rounds.”
His best lap set in the final minute of the session just edged out Byrne, who said: “To be honest I really needed to ride in the morning as I had a brand new bike and it needed to go around the track so we just did a few laps in the wet because of that. The afternoon was really, really good. We have a couple of things that we need to work on but I am really happy.”
Brookes showed his all-round skills setting the third best time this afternoon, ahead of fellow Title Fighter James Ellison aboard the Milwaukee Yamaha who had briefly led the afternoon session. Jakub Smrz riding the Padgetts Honda and Matteo Baiocco on the Moto Rapido Ducati rounded off the top six, ahead of Michael Rutter on the Bathams Honda and Peter Hickman riding the Lloyds British GBmoto Honda.
— Milwaukee Yamaha Report
The Milwaukee Yamaha team returned to action at Silverstone today for the penultimate round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship with James Ellison and Tommy Bridewell ending the opening free practice sessions in fourth and thirteenth respectively.
The opening morning session took place in wet conditions with Ellison proving his pace by running second fastest with Bridewell completing the top ten. However the conditions improved for the afternoon and Ellison fired in the fourth fastest time and is confident that some changes in the morning will put him in an even stronger position for qualifying. Bridewell set the thirteenth fastest time as he prepares for his second weekend with the Milwaukee Yamaha team and is ready to build on the opening two sessions.
Ellison said: “It has been a good start to the weekend and we are not far off after today. We have been losing a bit of time in the first sector, but we have a bit of a plan for that as we know we have a good pace here at the MotoGP support race so we have been able to try a few things. We have been working on the steering because that in the first sector will be where we can make up some more time and I have been happy on the SC2 rear tyre. We have some information from when we were here before so we have been able to go a bit in between in terms of direction, but we have ended today fairly happy and on track for where we need to be tomorrow.”
Bridewell said: “Today was difficult with the conditions and I am a bit far away from where I feel comfortable, but we have had a good talk through it in the garage and we have a plan for tomorrow to make some changes. At the start of the session this afternoon I felt better but as the conditions improved I just struggled to match the pace we needed to achieve, but generally it is ok and we shouldn’t be here for very long!”
— Josh Waters to round out BSB season with Kawasaki
— By Trevor Hedge
After being ousted from the Milwaukee Yamaha squad Mildura born rider Joshua Waters put in an impressive showing with BMW at the Le Mans 24 Hour and has now been picked up by the Halsall Racing Kawasaki squad for the remainder of the 2013 BSB Season.
The seat at Halsall had been vacated when Tommy Bridewell left the squad to take up Waters’ position in the Milwaukee Yamaha squad. Thus the pair have effectively now swapped teams.
The two-time Australian Superbike Champion had experienced his home grown success onboard a Suzuki GSX-R1000, and never adapted to the vastly different feeling YZF-R1 fielded by the Milwaukee Yamaha squad. Fingers crossed Waters finds the Kawasaki much more to his liking.
The 2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season continues next weekend at Silverstone, before moving on to the series triple-header finale at Brands Hatch on October 20.
— Current British Superbike Standings
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