— BSB 2013 – Round Nine – Donington Park
— Lowes doubles Donington
1: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda)
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.111s
3: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.521s
4: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +6.866s
5: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +11.628s
6: Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +18.210s
1: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda)
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.058s
3: Tommy Bridewell (Halsall Racing Kawasaki) +2.327s
4: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +3.667s
5: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +4.494s
6: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +9.365s
Championship standings heading into the Showdown:
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 539
2: Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 533
3: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 522
4: James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) 513
5: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) 504
6: James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) 500
Alex Lowes has upped the pressure on his MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship rivals by claiming a double win in a hard-fought ninth round at Donington Park, which decided the top six riders who will become the Title Fighters in the Showdown.
Samsung Honda’s Lowes was full of confidence from his winning double in the previous round at Cadwell Park and he narrowly took the first win from Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne, and it was even closer next time out with the margin just 0.058 seconds.
Lowes said: “I don’t think I have ever pushed as hard as I did at the end of those races but now the Showdown is all important and I go into it only six points down on Shakey so it is going to be lots of fun and I will give it everything.”
Lowes and Byrne had gone into the Donington Park races knowing that together with Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes they had already secured places among the elite Title Fighters, but for the chasing pack it became an epic battle for the final three positions.
James Ellison ensured his place with a strong and determined ride into third place in the opening race and he reflected: “That was a big relief, it was a strong race and I was really happy to be able to run at the pace of Shane and Alex.”
Former three times title winner Ryiuichi Kiyonari sealed his place with thirteenth and eleventh places on his Samsung Honda and that left a straight fight for the one remaining slot between the Buildbase BMW team-mates James Westmoreland and Jon Kirkham.
Pole-sitter Westmoreland finished the all important second race in fourth place while Kirkham ran seventh, leaving them level on points in the closest ever finish to the Main Season, with Westmoreland taking the verdict on the tie-breaker.
Westmoreland said: “It is just a great feeling and I am so relieved to have qualified. I couldn’t have pushed harder. I was at the limit but now I have broken through and it is brilliant. Now I am going to come out fighting at Assen.”
The Showdown kicks off at Assen over the weekend of 20-22 September as five different teams representing five different manufacturers with riders from three different nationalities battle for the 2013 MCE BSB title.
The Motorpoint British Supersport Championship took another dramatic turn at Donington Park last weekend as Martrain Yamaha’s Stuart Easton regained the position at the top of the standings with a win and a second place as title rival Alastair Seeley battled through the pain of arm injuries.
Seeley had held a 22 point advantage before the Donington Park round but the Gearlink Kawasaki rider suffered a high-speed crash in free practice which left him nursing an injured arm. However he was determined to put in a damage limitation performance and scored two top ten finishes as his main rival
Easton scored a second and a Feature race win to capture the standings lead by eight points.
Easton said: “I was disappointed after losing out on the Sprint race victory, but the Mar-Train boys made a few changes which improved the package and I was able to do the business. I have to thank them all for such a big effort. It’s nice to go to Assen in the championship lead, but there are six races left and we will take them one at a time.”
Seeley said “It was a tough weekend and really frustrating, the last thing I needed to do was crash on Friday. I ended up in the medical centre and missed out on the rest of free practice. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do much in qualifying and ended up in ninth. The races were really tough but now I really need to get myself back fit and ready for Assen as I still have a Championship to fight for.”
The defending champions Smiths Racing Triumph had their best round of the season as Glen Richards scored his first podium finish as Billy McConnell scored another victory after a battle with Easton. McConnell was denied the chance of making it a double though as he was embroiled in a race-long battle with fellow Australian Jason O’Halloran, but the Samsung Honda rider was able to defeat his rival and claim his best result of the season in second place.
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Donington Park, Sprint race result:
1. Billy McConnell (Smiths Triumph)
2. Stuart Easton (Martrain Yamaha) +0.475
3. Glen Richards (Smiths Triumph) +2.882s
4. Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +8.240s
5. Graeme Gowland (Appleyard Macadam Doodson Yamaha) +8.772s
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Donington Park, Feature race result:
1. Stuart Easton (Martrain Yamaha)
2. Jason O’Halloran (Samsung Honda) +1.844s
3. Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Triumph) +2.041s
4. Glen Richards (Smiths Racing Triumph) +3.633s
5. Taylor Mackenzie (Tyco Suzuki) +5.595s
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship standings after Donington Park:
1. Stuart Easton (Martrain Yamaha) 326
2. Alastair Seeley (Gearlink Kawasaki) 318
3. Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing Triumph) 269
4. Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) 263
5. Graeme Gowland (Appleyard Macadam Racing Yamaha) 206
— Milwaukee Yamaha Report
The Milwaukee Yamaha team have secured their position in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Showdown for the third consecutive season as James Ellison scored a third place in the opening race at Donington Park.
In the opening race Ellison was pushing hard in the leading pack as he put in a determined performance to move up the order and was running third and despite trying to make a move on Shane Byrne ahead of him and maintained his position to claim the podium credit. In the second race Ellison was pushing to claim another haul of podium credits but as he made a bid to move ahead at the Esses on the tenth lap he ran on and then had to make up the places again, working his way through to sixth. Josh Waters scored a pair of twelfth places.
Ellison said: “It is job done now to get our position in the Showdown which was the main thing but I still wanted a podium. It was a really hot pace and we managed to gap some of the other riders; none of the guys were making any mistakes so we were all looking to try and make a move but as usual there were areas where someone was stronger than someone else. I saw Shakey have a few looks at Alex and I thought he might have a go, I thought maybe he might and push them both wide, but it didn’t happen and we had a third but I was happy with that. Race two was looking good until we had that moment, but we showed our pace and we will be ready for the Showdown.”
Waters said: “We had two hard races and in both of them I had a bad couple of opening laps and that really cost me in both races. I enjoyed Donington Park though and I feel we made some more improvements so I am looking forward to the next round at Assen.”
Team co-ordinator Mick Shanley concluded: “It was really positive for the Milwaukee Yamaha team to secure the position in the Showdown and overall we had a positive day despite the race two result. James had a great podium in the first race and again showed what he was capable of, it was just a shame he couldn’t get on the podium in the second race when he ran on at the Esses. Josh is continuing to try hard but there is obviously still work to do. The whole team are now going to prepare for the Showdown and we look forward to Assen.”
— Tyco Suzuki Report
Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes will start his 2013 British Superbike Championship Showdown account at Assen in the Netherlands in a fortnight’s time, just 17 points behind series leader Shane Byrne.
GSX-R1000-mounted Brookes finished fourth and fifth in Sunday’s British Superbike races at Donington Park with team-mate PJ Jacobsen taking ninth place in both races on his British Superbike debut at the Leicestershire venue.
Josh Brookes: “I’m pretty disappointed with the results. This time last year my lap times were good enough to win both races and I went faster this weekend and didn’t get much for mine or the team’s efforts. We just didn’t get the best out of the bike today, but it’s disappointing, as I’ve probably ridden as hard, or harder, than I have in the past to win races and we get fourth and fifth. I was pushing the front way-past where I should have been and got away with it, yet at Cadwell, I was doing the opposite and crashed. I know the team is working as hard as it can; and if we look at the bigger picture, it’s not that bad, but it has been frustrating for everyone today.”
PJ Jacobsen: “This weekend I gained more experience at a Grand Prix-type circuit both setting-up and riding a Superbike. It’s a totally different animal than 12 months ago riding the GSX-R1000 Superstock bike, but I think overall, two top-10 finishes is a good account from my side of the Tyco Suzuki garage. Next up is Assen, which I really enjoy riding. Hopefully we can give a good account and get closer to those front guys.”
Philip Neill – Team Manager: “In terms of our Championship Challenge, today was very disappointing, that’s for sure. Although our pace was quite good all weekend, we simply were not fast enough over race distance to challenge the podium positions. In the coming days we will analyse everything possible to understand why this was the case. Of course we still intend to fight for this Championship. However, we have some work to do before Assen to ensure we are back at the front challenging for race wins.
“PJ had a steady weekend as he continues to learn the art of finding the best possible set-up with a Superbike over a race weekend. His results were satisfying considering the company he is racing against.”
— Gearlink Kawasaki
It was a disappointing weekend at Donington Park for the Gearlink Kawasaki Supersport riders, the first time all season that neither rider has managed to be on the podium in either Motorpoint British Supersport race podiums. Ben Wilson gained a strong fourth place in race one but crashed out in race two, Alastair Seeley was only able to salvage a ninth and eighth place riding injured.
Ben Wilson was eager to have a strong weekend at a track he has had previous form at the circuit and was keen to follow on from his results at Cadwell. However, disaster struck early on in the weekend, with shocking weather conditions on Friday halting most practice sessions and then a crash down Craner Curves for Ben during qualifying saw him qualify in a low 14th place. Despite this he rode a fantastic race and brought the Gearlink Kawasaki home in fourth place. He was able to gain a better qualifying position and started the second race from the second row in sixth place, sadly despite his best efforts in fighting for a podium place he crashed out at McLeans, uninjured but disappointed.
Ben Wilson – “It certainly wasn’t the ideal weekend for myself nor the team. Donington is always a track we have struggled at in the past and I’ve made hardly any mistakes all year then have two crashes in one weekend. I was really desperate for the team to bring them a good result and maybe I was pushing too hard in the second race for a podium, I just missed a gear and down I went.
I will as always pick myself up and walk away and come back strong at Assen, I am looking forward to getting there for our second year and now we have some data from last year this should help us and I will be fighting as always to get a good result.”
After his big crash at Cadwell a few weeks ago, Alastair Seeley had another bad weekend and crashed heavily on Friday aggravating his already very sore injuries. During the crash he re-injured his already infected arm and his ribs; he also sustained a back strain in the fast crash in the wet. Despite this he qualified in ninth for the opening race in which he finish in ninth and qualified in tenth for race two and finished in eighth.
Alastair Seeley – “It was another tough weekend and really frustrating, the last thing I needed to do was crash on Friday but I needed to test some things on the bike and down I went early on in the session and pretty quick. I ended up in the medical centre and missing out on the rest of free practice. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do much in qualifying and so only did 11 laps and ended up in ninth.
The races were really tough especially at Donington with the change in direction of the track it was very difficult with my rib and back injuries. I really need to get myself back fit and ready for Assen and the last races of the year as I still have a Championship to fight for. I have now dropped to second in the Championship standings so I have to make sure I’m fully fit and ready to go at the final three rounds of the series.”
Pirelli National Superstock 600s
It was another good weekend for the two Pirelli National Superstock 600 riders at Donington for Luke Hedger and Mark Wilkinson. With the poor weather on Friday the main qualifying session was during the dry on Saturday. Luke qualified in second on the front row and Mark in ninth place. They both had a solid race with Luke taking a solid second place and Mark Wilkinson locked in a tight battle finishing the race in sixth he was later promoted to fifth after the exclusion of another rider, his best result of the season so far.
Luke Hedger – “The race was really good and it was nice to be back there up on the podium after the big crash at Cadwell. It went well all weekend and I was looking forward to another dice for a podium place. I got a pretty good start and away with the leaders but I got stuck behind Joe (Collier) and Jordan (Simpkin) and I could see Callan (Cooper) bridging the gap. By the time I got past I knew I would just have to settle for second and try and pull in the gap on the Championship standings. My times were good and I’m pleased with the way I rode and hoping for a good end to the season.”
Mark Wilkinson – “It was a really good race and I enjoyed riding in it and being a part of a really good scarp and tidy battle for sixth. We had a good race and we kept making a few passes on each other but it was good tidy racing, I later found out I was promoted to fifth which I’m over the moon with. Everything has been great and I’ve really gelled well with the Gearlink Kawasaki team and the results are definitely coming on good.”
Team Manager Michael de Bidaph – “It was a bad weekend as far as the Supersport class is concerned. Ben rode his heart out this weekend and was desperate to bring home a good result for us it was just a shame about his qualifying crash. He rode well to get fourth in the first race and then he missed a gear in race two and crashed out.
Alastair had a bad weekend and the crash in practice set him back and sadly he wasn’t able to ride to his full potential in the races and now we’ve slipped back to second in the Championship after having a healthy lead before Cadwell.”
The stock 600 riders really did ride well this weekend and they both deserved the results they gained. Luke bounced back well from his crash at Cadwell and gained another podium, he’s worked hard all weekend and gained the result he was hoping for, back on the podium. Mark once again showed his form and rode a very solid race to finish sixth; he was promoted to fifth after an exclusion of a rider which helped him secure his best result of the year. Both riders are working very hard and getting great results, they are both capable of podiums and hope to end the year on a high note.”
— Be Wiser Kawasaki
Round ten of the Pirelli National Superstock Championship took place this weekend at Donington Park. The Be Wiser Kawasaki team had a tough weekend at the track; it was Nick Anderson in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 class that gained the team’s best result of eighth place. In the Stock 1000 class Josh Wainwright was unfortunate to finish just outside the points in 16th place and Josh Day crashed out on lap five.
In the Pirelli National Superstock 600 class Nick Anderson struggled again during the only dry qualifying session on Saturday and ended up in 17th place on the grid for the scheduled 14-lap race. He got a good start and as always worked his way through in the race to ride and incredible race to finish in ninth place, later being promoted to eighth after a rider was excluded.
Nick Anderson – “Once again I had another bad qualifying session and was only able to place myself in 17th place on the grid. I got a really terrible start and was about 20th after the opening lap, once I settled down a little bit I was able to push a little harder and work my way back up through the pack. It’s really difficult from that far back in the pack as you have to be really aware of what other people are doing around you as well as trying to put in good race times. I got my head down and made some passes and to get back up to ninth was great and to gain a place was even better. I am looking forward to getting to Silverstone and really want to finish the season on a high note.”
In the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 class, Josh Wainwright and Josh Day had another tough weekend, with the appalling weather conditions on Friday, first practice and first qualifying for both riders was a right off so they only had qualifying two to find a good set up for the bike and set a good time. Josh Wainwright qualified in 16th and Josh Day in 14th.
Josh Wainwright – “It was a really good race for me, I’d had another bad qualifying session and once again left myself with a lot of work to do. I got a good start but was run wide into the first turn which caused me to lose a lot of places. I had to fight my way back up through the pack and I was unlucky not to finish in the points, I learnt a lot during the race and hopefully this will help me in the last few races of the season.”
Josh Day also struggled during qualifying and ended up in 14th, he got a bad start and dropped back through the pack, and fighting back he ended up crashing out at the Melbourne Loop on lap six.
Josh Day – “It was another tough weekend for me, with the rain on Friday it was a short dry session for us on Saturday to find a set up and put in a qualifying time. I wasn’t where I wanted to be in the race and I guess I was pushing too hard to try and make up the places. I just lost the front and that was me out of the race, I’m really gutted but have to move on now to Silverstone and Brands and finish the season well.”
Team Owner/Manager Alan Grieg – “It was a bit of a strange weekend for us as we seem to take a step backwards from the progress that we made at Cadwell Park. Everything went very well at Cadwell after some of the team structures changed and some ways we worked changed all the riders had a good qualifying session there. However, at Donington things went backwards and all three riders again struggled to qualify in a good grid position for their races.
It’s important for us at Silverstone and Brands to make sure these changes are implemented again and end the season on a high note. The qualifying here let all three riders down when it came to the race. Nick Anderson had a really good race and if he’d been able to qualify on the front three rows he had the pace to run up with the top bunch. He rode very hard to bring the Be Wiser Kawasaki back in eighth place from 17th on the grid; this really shows his potential we just have to sort the qualifying sessions out.
Both Josh Day and Wainwright struggled to qualify well and in doing so Josh Day pushed too hard and crashed out, with the old rules and the minor damage he would have been able to re-join but this isn’t now possible with the new rules. Josh Wainwright got a bad start and went backwards but once he relaxed his times were good and he was unfortunate to miss out on some more Championship points.”