BSB 2012 – Round Ten – Assen
— Lowes tops BSB FP; Hill crashes
Free practice one:
1:Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 1m:38.651s
2:Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +0.482s
3:Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.549s
4:Luca Scassa (Padgetts Honda) +0.627s
5:Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +0.904s
6:Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha) +0.934s
Free practice two:
1:Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) 1:37.893s
2:Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.282s
3:Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.572s
4:Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +0.868s
5:Jakub Smrz (Splitlath Redmond Racing) +0.950s
6:Barry Burrell (Buildbase BMW) +1.071s
Alex Lowes was the last rider to qualify as a Title Fighter in the Showdown for the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship but today (Friday) the WFR Honda rider stormed the opposition in the opening two free practice sessions at the iconic Assen circuit.
Lowes had experienced riding the Dutch circuit last year in a two day test with the locally based Ten Kate Honda team and he made that count as held off the challenges from his Title Fighter rivals including the late determined threat posed by Aussie Josh Brookes aboard the Tyco Suzuki.
“I’m really enjoying riding here – the track suits my style,” reflected Lowes after topping the times with a lap of 1m 37.893secs. “We are getting consistent lap times even though this is a new track for the team and we have all had to work hard.
“There is no reason why we cannot continue like this – we just have to stick in there. As for the Showdown and the title – I’m not thinking about either of them yet. My focus is simply to go out there and do my best.”
Brookes worked hard with his team to overcame a vibration problem with his bike, solving it in the closing stages of the session and had moved fastest before Lowes toppled him from the top.
Former two times title winner Shane “Shakey” Byrne returned as he braved the pain of an injured shoulder onboard the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki. He topped the opening session before setting the third fastest time ahead of title rival Michael Laverty aboard the Samsung Honda.
But the remaining two Title Fighters had a nightmare start to the opening sessions at Assen. Defending champion Tommy Hill escaped injury when he crashed his Swan Yamaha in the afternoon session which left him ninth fastest, though three places ahead of Supersonic Racing BMW’s Tommy Bridewell.
— Tyco Suzuki Report
Josh Brookes finished the opening day of the 2012 British Superbike Showdown at Assen in the Netherlands with the second fastest time on his Tyco Suzuki. The Australian did hold the provisional pole time before being edged out late on by Alex Lowes.
His team-mate Alastair Seeley made a quantum leap with his lap times in the second session, shaving over two seconds from his FP1 time pushing himself into the top 20 on his first visit to the TT Circuit.
In British Supersport, American PJ Jacobsen didn’t take long to familiarise himself with the GSX-R600, posting the fifth best time in FP2 after shaving three seconds from his opening session time.
Josh Brookes: The bike was sore on the tyre in the opening session and we were suffering from chatter, so we made a few changes that adjusted the feel but didn’t cure the problem; then we made a further change mid-way through the session that did work for us. It also reduced the chatter and improved grip. I came in for a fresh tyre and went P1 but just dropped down to P2 at the end of the session. But we’re ready to go again tomorrow.
Alastair Seeley: “I’m still getting to grips with the circuit but the bike feels better with the changes we’ve made and I fully expect the times to get better as the weekend progresses. Changing my position on the bike has certainly improved my feeling, so with that will hopefully bring added confidence and get us back that little but closer to the sharp end.”