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Sep 29, 2012

Alex Lowes On British Superbike Pole Position At Silverstone

Alex Lowes (22).
British National Championship
Silverstone Circuit, England
September 29, 2012
Combined Qualifying Results:

1. Alex Lowes (Hon CBR1000RR), 2:05.662
2. Tommy Hill (Yam YZF-R1), 2:06.487
3. Michael Laverty (Hon CBR1000RR), 2:06.553
4. Josh Brookes (Suz GSX-R1000), 2:06.702
5. Shane Byrne (Kaw ZX-10R), 2:06.775
6. Chris Walker (Kaw ZX-10R), 2:07.154
7. James Westmoreland (Hon CBR1000RR), 2:07.429
8. Barry Burrell (BMW S1000RR), 2:07.444
9. Peter Hickman (BMW S1000RR), 2:07.540
10. Danny Buchman (Kaw ZX-10R), no time recorded in Qualifying Three

1000cc Superstock:
1. Keith Farmer (Kaw ZX-10R), 2:09.749
2. P.J. Jacobsen (Suz GSX-R1000), 2:09.886
3. Jason O'Halloran (Hon CBR1000RR), 2:10.245
4. Steve Brogan (BMW S1000RR), 2:10.707
5. David Johnson (BMW S1000RR), 2:10.870
6. Jonathan Railton (Kaw ZX-10R), 2:10.961
7. Marshall Neill (Kaw ZX-10R), 2:11.129
8. Lee Johnston (Duc 1199 Panigale), 2:11.345
9. Josh Elliott (BMW S1000RR), 2:11.408
10. Joe Burns (Kaw ZX-10R), 2:11.542

More, from a press release issued by MotorSport Vision:



Qualifying, top six:
1: Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) 2m 05.662s
2: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +0.825s
3: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +0.891s
4: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +1.040s
5: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +1.113s
6: Chris Walker (Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki) +1.492s


Alex Lowes boosted his hopes of moving closer to the MCE Insurance British Superbike crown as he stunned his Title Fighter rivals with a scorching lap of Silverstone to take his third pole start from four rounds ahead of Sunday's penultimate round.

The WFR Honda rider had set the pace in all three free practice sessions but he saved his best for qualifying with a blistering 105.06mph lap around the 3.67mile Northamptonshire circuit which powered him to 0.825 seconds ahead of reigning champion Tommy Hill.

Lowes said: "That was a pretty good lap we had struggled a bit with tyre choice and had changed the bike settings a lot and practice had gone OK. I had felt pretty quick all of the way across the weekend and the bike is feeling good, so we will see what happens now in the races. I am going to enjoy them and I really want podium finishes tomorrow."

Lowes goes into these races in fourth place in the overall standings, 36 points down on series leader Josh Brookes. The Australian bounced back from a high-speed crash during the final free practice to qualify his Tyco Suzuki fourth fastest, marginally slower than Samsung Honda's Michael Laverty.

Brookes said: "It has been a difficult day after my crash this morning, which was my own fault. The team did a good job to get me back out there and the bike was the best it's been all weekend so I feel confident for the races."

Shane Byrne was the fifth Title Fighter to qualifying in the top five, and like Brookes the former two times winner of the crown had hit back strongly from a heavy crash. He had badly damaged his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki on Friday afternoon, but following the hard work of his team overnight to repair the bike he will start from the second row for the opening race tomorrow.

But the sixth of the Title Fighters, Tommy Bridewell faces an uphill struggle to remain in contention after a problematic qualifying left his Supersonic Racing BMW twelfth fastest and with it a third row start.

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More, from a press release issued by Swan Yamaha:


Swan Yamaha's Tommy Hill claimed his tenth front row start of the season at Silverstone today at the penultimate round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship and will start from second on the grid whilst team-mate Noriyuki Haga will start from the fifth row.

Hill had continued to build his momentum throughout the free practice sessions and working hard with the Swan Yamaha team members worked hard to perfect the set up ahead of tomorrow's two races. Hill was 0.825 seconds adrift of pole-sitter Alex Lowes as he bids to close the 22 point deficit to championship leader Josh Brookes in the standings. Haga continued to have difficulties to find a setting he was comfortable with and faces an uphill challenge in the opening race tomorrow.

Hill said: "It is good to be back on the front row and hopefully we won't have any more stunts tomorrow in the races! We have knuckled down again and have been getting on with business as we really want wins bad. Qualifying was good for us and we have made good changes each session. We can't have any excuses and we know where we need to be for the races tomorrow. We need to get stuck in and get some results to get points in the bag and move forward. I am feeling pretty confident and we need to go out to get results tomorrow to try and win this championship again."

Haga said: "Today we have tried lots of changes again but we have the same issue as yesterday. We have good speed but I still do not have the grip in the corners so that I can push harder and improve my lap time. We have some changes to try in warm up and I hope for a good result in the races tomorrow."

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More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:

Josh Brookes and PJ Jacobsen will start from the front row of their respective class grids in tomorrow's opening British Superbike and National 1000cc Superstock races at Silverstone.

BSB Championship leader Brookes qualified his Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike in fourth place for the 11th and penultimate event of the 12-round series with Jacobsen continuing to impress with second place in National Superstock class on his Silverstone debut. Brookes' team mate Alastair Seeley will start the opening BSB race from row six.

Josh Brookes:

"I'm happy to be on the front row which almost guarantees a good position into the first turn. Tyre preservation will be a key in tomorrow's races so it's important just to get away with that first group and follow, letting someone else do the early work. Today was more about working on the bike set-up than busting out a lap time, as in my opinion, that won't amount to much tomorrow."

PJ Jacobsen:

"We didn't make too many changes to my GSX-R1000 today as it was all about gaining more track time and knowledge and we went faster and faster as the session progressed. It was about being smooth and putting together a couple of good laps and we achieved that with P2 and the front row which I'm happy with."

Philip Neill - Team Manager:

"It was another difficult start to the weekend to be fair, but all credit to the boys on Josh's side of the garage for repairing his bike after the crash at Stowe in FP3 prior to qualifying. A front-row start for Josh is positive and the performance PJ produced was phenomenal: P2 and being so close to pole on his debut at Silverstone, and having just jumped off the Tyco Suzuki GSX-R600 back onto the 1000cc machine is a credit to his obvious talent."

British Superbike Qualifying: 1 Alex Lowes [Honda] 2:05.662, 2 Tommy Hill [Yamaha] 2:06.487, 3 Michael Laverty [Honda] 2:06.553, 4 Josh Brookes [Tyco Suzuki] 2:06.702, 5 Shane Byrne [Kawasaki] 2:06.775, 6 Chris Walker [Kawasaki] 2:07.154.

National 1000cc Superstock Qualifying: 1 Keith Farmer [Kawasaki] 2:09.749, 2 PJ Jacobsen [Tyco Suzuki] +0.137, 3 Jason O'Halloran [Honda] +0.496, 4 Steve Brogan [BMW] +0.958, 5 David Johnson [BMW] +1.121, 6 Jonathan Railton [Kawasaki] +1.212.