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Aug 26, 2012

Alex Lowes On British Superbike Pole Position At Cadwell Park

Alex Lowes (22).


Qualifying top six:
1: Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) 1m:27.505s
2: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +0.029s
3: Jon Kirkham (Samsung Honda) +0.179s
4: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +0.481s
5: Karl Harris (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +0.496s
6: Danny Buchan (MSS Bathams Kawasaki) +0.651s


Lincolnshire home hero Alex Lowes powered the WFR Honda team to their maiden pole position ahead of the first race in the Bank Holiday Monday eighth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at his local Cadwell Park circuit.

Lowes had been consistently on the pace across the weekend and he put in the decisive lap in a time of 1 27.505secs, afterwards explaining: " I was a bit nervous in the damp but to be on pole is really good and I have enjoyed the consistent times. I am buzzing now!

"The bike is working well and is good enough to win these races so now I have to stay calm and try and get the points and the results for the Showdown," added Lowes who held off the determined challenges of series leader Tommy Hill who closed his Swan Yamaha within 0.029secs.

Jon Kirkham had a resurgent performance after a difficult mid-season; he qualified his Samsung Honda third fastest, easing his title chasing team-mate Michael Laverty back onto the second row with the Kawasaki duo of Karl Harris (Quattro Plant team) and MSS Bathams' Danny Buchan.

Peter Hickman put his Buildbase BMW onto the third row, ahead of the second WFR rider James Westmoreland and Aussie Mark Aitchison who gave the Splitlath Aprilia team their best qualifying perfomance of the season as only 0.829secs separated the top nine riders who represented five different manufacturers.

Title contender Josh Brookes faces an uphill struggle, starting his Tyco Suzuki from the fourth row, but two of his rivals, Shane "Shakey" Byrne and Noriyuki Haga, are ruled out having sustained shoulder injuries in crashes during free practice.

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More, from a press release issued by Swan Yamaha:


Swan Yamaha's Tommy Hill will start from the front row of the grid for tomorrow's opening race at the eighth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Cadwell Park after qualifying in second position; however team-mate Noriyuki Haga is sidelined from the event after sustaining a broken collarbone.

Hill had started the day strongly as he topped the third and final practice session and was confident ahead of qualifying. The defending champion had run at the top of the timesheets during the final session but on his flying lap he saved a high-side but lost the time to be in contention for pole position, however he secured his seventh front row start of the season.

Haga has been forced to sit out the remainder of the Cadwell Park event after a heavy high-side at Mansfield in the third free practice session. Haga had been getting to grips with the track but the crash left him with a broken collarbone; however he is aiming for a return at Donington Park. Haga currently lies sixth in the standings but with him sidelined for both races he is aiming to return at Donington Park, the final round ahead of the Showdown.

Hill said: "I am pleased to be on the front row, but slightly gutted that we couldn't quite make that pole position. We were on a good lap and then I had a big high-side and I am talking in a high voice now as I saved it but came down on the bike quite hard. I then regrouped but got caught in traffic and that just took the chance away to try and get that pole position. It was disappointing that we couldn't quite connect it together this afternoon as we know we have the pace but we are where we need to be and we are ready for the races tomorrow."

Haga said: "I have a little bit of pain but not too much; it is more the swelling now. It is at the end of my collarbone that has been broken so I cannot have an operation to fix it so I have to just relax and try to make sure it heals quickly. For sure I want to be back for Donington Park because it is important for the Showdown and it is a good track for me. I have broken a collarbone before, so when I go home to Italy I will see my specialist doctor to see what we can do to try and make it get better faster.

"It was a big high-side, the rear went and then I knew it was going to hurt because I was nearly as high as the TV camera in the sky! I was lucky to have just injured the collarbone because before when I have crashed like that it has been a lot worse, because when I broke my other collarbone I also hurt my arm too. I am still sorry for the team as it was important to score points this weekend, but here was always going to be difficult for me. I need to recover now and then hope to be back for Donington Park, because this can be possible and this is a good track for me."

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