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Sep 30, 2012

Alex Lowes Sweeps British Superbike Doubleheader At Silverstone

British Superbike Race One winner Alex Lowes (center) with runner-up Shane Byrne (left) and third-place finisher Michael Laverty (right).
British National Championship
Silverstone Circuit, England
September 30, 2012
Race Results:

Superbike Race One:
1. Alex Lowes (Hon CBR1000RR), 14 laps, 30:05.589
2. Shane Byrne (Kaw ZX-10R), -5.021 seconds
3. Michael Laverty (Hon CBR1000RR), -5.451
4. Josh Brookes (Suz GSX-R1000), -8.437
5. James Westmoreland (Hon CBR1000RR), -8.716
6. Tommy Bridewell (BMW S1000RR), -9.493
7. Tommy Hill (Yam YZF-R1), -11.882
8. Luca Scassa (Hon CBR1000RR), -13.893
9. Ian Lowry (Hon CBR1000RR), -14.124
10. Chris Walker (Kaw ZX-10R), -19.507

Superbike Race Two:
1. Alex Lowes (Hon CBR1000RR), 14 laps, 29.59.702
2. Shane Byrne (Kaw ZX-10R), -0.042 second
3. Josh Brookes (Suz GSX-R1000), -0.516
4. Tommy Bridewell (BMW S1000RR), -4.125 seconds
5. Michael Laverty (Hon CBR1000RR), -5.332
6. Luca Scassa (Hon CBR1000RR), -9.726
7. Tommy Hill (Yam YZF-R6), -10.638
8. Chris Walker (Kaw ZX-10R), -11.126
9. James Westmoreland (Hon CBR1000RR), -16.772
10. Peter Hickman (BMW S1000RR), -18.791

1000cc Superstock:
1. Lee Costello (Kaw ZX-10R), 11 laps, 24:45.142
2. P.J. Jacobsen (Suz GSX-R1000), -0.059 second
3. Keith Farmer (Kaw ZX-10R), -1.731 seconds
4. Joe Burns (Kaw ZX-10R), -6.918
5. Jonathan Railton (Kaw ZX-10R), -7.891
6. Victor Cox (Kaw ZX-10R), -8.834
7. Howie Mainwaring (BMW S1000RR), -12.444
8. Jimmy Storrar (BMW S1000RR), -13.488
9. Adam Jenkinson (Hon CBR1000RR), -13.536
10. Daniel Johnson (Kaw ZX-10R), -13.798

Championship Point Standings:
Superbike (after 23 of 26 races):
1. Byrne, 608 points
2. Brookes, 599
3. Alex Lowes, 584
4. Hill, 566
5. Michael Laverty, 559
6. Bridewell, 544
7. Westmoreland, 159
8. Haga, 139
9. TIE, Lowry/Walker, 131

1000cc Superstock (after 12 of 13 races):
1. Farmer, 182 points
2. O'Halloran, 157
3. Cox, 131
4. Storrar, 117
5. Costello, 114
6. Brogan, 98
7. TIE, Johnson/Jenkinson, 90
9. Mainwaring, 89
10. Buchan, 85
11. Jacobsen, 64 (only competed in four rounds)

More, from a press release issued by MotorSport Vision:



Race one:
1: Alex Lowes (WFR Honda)
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +5.021s
3: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +5.451s
4: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +8.437s
5: James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +8.716s
6: Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +9.493s

Race two:
1: Alex Lowes (WFR Honda)
2: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.042s
3: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.516s
4: Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +4.125s
5: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +5.332s
6:Luca Scassa (Padgetts Honda) +9.726s

Championship standings:
1: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 608
2: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 599
3: Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) 584
4: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 566
5: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) 559
6: Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) 544


Alex Lowes underlined his late bid to take the MCE Insurance British Superbike crown with a superb winning double in the penultimate round at Silverstone that powered the WFR Honda rider into third place in the title standings.

The 22 year old Lincolnshire rider has continued the rich vein of form that saw him clinch a place among the elite six Title Fighters in the Showdown and he scorched to his third pole start in four rounds, carrying that pace into the two races that produced some of the most exhilarating racing of the season.

In the opening race Lowes had to ride hard to overcome the early threat of Samsung Honda's Michael Laverty, taking the lead on the third lap, and then claiming his maiden victory from former two times title winner Shane Byrne who had overcome problems to his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki that had prevented him from taking part in the morning warm-up.

Byrne and Laverty again made the early running in the second race with Lowes having to carve through from from fifth place on the opening lap to take the lead on the ninth lap only for a scary moment in which he was almost launched from the WFR Honda to leave him having to re-group.

Lowes battled back but Byrne looked to be heading to his sixth victory of the season but going through Woodcote for the final time Lowes pulled off an audacious move to snatch the lead and then win the dash to the line by 0.042secs.

Lowes was delighted: "I've loved every minute of it. The bike is working well and I have worked hard. Last year was a confidence killer for me but this team has stood by me. I didn't expect to win this season, maybe I've had a bit of luck but I have enjoyed these races. I felt pretty good in the opener and was really happy with the ride.

"In the second race I was nearly off with two or three laps to go but fought back at Shakey and managed to sneak up the inside of him at the last corner and then turn more tightly. Ten years ago he was my hero in World Superbikes and I was able to pull that cheeky move on him I enjoyed that. I just crept into the Showdown and I will enjoy the final three races and what will be will be," added Lowes.

Byrne twice second leads Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes, who finished fourth and third, by nine points in the standings with Lowes moving into third 18 points up on reigning champion Tommy Hill who struggled to a pair of sevenths. Laverty with a third and fifth place remains fifth overall on 559 points with Supersonic BMWs Tommy Bridewell the outsider on 544 points as they head for the Brands Hatch title decider over the weekend of 12/13/14 October.

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More, from a press release issued by Swan Yamaha:


The Swan Yamaha team leave the penultimate round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Silverstone today following a disappointing weekend at the Northamptonshire circuit.

Defending champion Tommy Hill heroically tried to overcome a lack of grip in a bid to close down on his title rivals and despite issues the Kent ace fought to two seventh places, whilst Noriyuki Haga also struggled in both races to finish 16th and 15th.

Hill said: "It has been a nightmare here for us this weekend. The last two rounds of the championship we have been to, Assen and Silverstone, are tracks that are a different nature to the ones earlier in the year and we don't want to make excuses but we have struggled with grip. The results we have had today are not what we needed for the championship and we have nothing to lose now.

Haga said: "It has been a big disappointment in both races today. We have tried many settings to try and find a good feeling but we cannot solve the issues we have had with grip today. We tried hard but it was not possible to improve. I now hope we can have a good result at Brands Hatch."

Team owner Shaun Muir concluded: "This year the Showdown hasn't gone our way but we need to finish the job we started. It has been a difficult weekend and we are now looking to salvage the best results we can from the final round. We have been the favourites all the way and in the space of eight days we have gone from hero to zero. It is disappointing for the team but now we just want to go to Brands Hatch and end the season in style."

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More, from a press release issued by Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing:

Excellent day at Silverstone for Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing

The Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in Northamptonshire was the latest circuit visited by the Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing team in this year's British Superbike Championship and it proved to be a happy hunting ground for the team with Chris Walker enjoying one of his best weekend's of the season.

The Nottingham ace was in imperious form during qualifying and a brilliant sixth place was indication of the things to come and he was duly rewarded during the course of the two races. A great start to the first 14-lap encounter saw Chris make a great start and hold onto sixth in the early stages. Running the softer compound tyre, Chris was dicing with reigning Champion Tommy Hill and although he got shuffled back to tenth at the chequered flag by riders running the harder compound tyre, it was a solid start to the day.

Continuing with the same tyre, Chris was on the fourth row for race 2 but another great start meant he ended the first lap in ninth place. Enjoying a superb 4-man battle for sixth with Hill and James Westmoreland, the trio were caught in the final laps by a flying Luca Scassa but Chris held on for an excellent eighth place, just over a second adrift of the Italian. The haul of 14 points sees Chris now line in joint 9th in the Championship table and just eight points behind 8th placed Noriyuki Haga.

New team member John Laverty also enjoyed a profitable weekend and, despite having been out of action for over a month, he got quicker and quicker throughout the weekend as he reacquainted himself with the Kawasaki. The Northern Irishman set his fastest lap of the weekend in Sunday's race 2 and ended with more than solid 20th and 22nd place finishes.

There was further joy for the team as third rider Kyle Wilks put in a brilliant ride in the Metzeler National Superstock 600cc Championship race. Having qualified in 16th place, a superb start saw the Southampton rider jump up inside the top ten and he was able to more than consolidate his position, ultimately finishing the race in a career best seventh.

Speaking later, team owner Pete Extance commented; "It was a steady start to the weekend for the team but once FP3 came, Chris began to show his true potential and an excellent qualifying performance, one of his best of the year, was the least he deserved. He used the SC1 tyre for race one and he was able to utilise it in the early stages but Scassa and Lowry had opted for the harder compound and it came to them towards the end, allowing them to move forward. Tenth was a great effort though and it got better still in race 2 when Chris, sticking with the same tyre, came through from 14th on the grid to 8th. He was battling for sixth for the entire race and moving up to joint 9th overall is a tremendous effort and gives us plenty to aim for at the final round."

"It was good to have John on the bike and with us this weekend and he made a lot of changes to the bike over the course of the three days, continually improving and moving forward. He got quicker and quicker in each and every session and fully deserved his two solid finishes so I'm sure we'll see him higher still at the final round. There was also a brilliant result for young Kyle and, after his best qualifying result of the season so far, his race was truly tremendous and we're all delighted with how he's ridden during 2012. There's just the final round to go now and we'll be looking to end the season on as big a high as possible."

The final round of the series takes place at Brands Hatch, Kent on the weekend of October 12-14.