Sep 8, 2012
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Josh Brookes (2).
BROOKES TAKES POLE AS LOWES INTENSIFIES HIS CLAIM FOR TITLE FIGHTER STATUS
Qualifying, top six:
1: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 1m:30.085s
2: Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +0.116s
3: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +0.274s
4: Jon Kirkham (Samsung Honda) +0.472s
5: James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +0.503s
6: Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +0.705s
Josh Brookes scorched to his third pole start of the season ahead of the crucial ninth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Donington Park, but the Aussie was pushed hard by Alex Lowes who closed in on his rival with a hard riding performance.
"This is really sweet, the strongest start we've had to a race so far we've been strong and fast from the start. The Tyco Suzuki is working well and that sets the standard for good results in the races now I have to carry that momentum and my desire is always to win," said Brookes who is aiming for a double win and a maximum podium credit score of six.
Brookes was 0.116 seconds faster than Lowes as the WFR Honda rider continues to chase one of the two remaining places in the elite group of six riders who become the Title Fighters in the Showdown, which begins at the next round at Assen.
Lowes, who is currently in sixth place in the rankings, said: "I'm really getting to grips with being up front and now I am riding with confidence to go out and do a good job, everything is starting to click for me but now I have to do it in these races. I need to go out and do the business tomorrow in the races."
Defending champion Tommy Hill was third fastest on his Swan Yamaha ahead of Samsung Honda's Jon Kirkham whose title chasing team-mate Michael Laverty crashed out unhurt in the final element of the qualifying session.
Supersonic BMW's Tommy Bridewell is currently fifth in the overall standings, he starts from the second row of the grid in seventh as he prepares to defend his position, but faces a building challenge from WFR Honda's James Westmoreland who was marginally faster in qualifying.
Their rivals endured a challenging session as Swan Yamaha's Noriyuki Haga, riding through the pain of a broken collarbone, ended twelfth with Chris Walker on the Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki alongside him on the third row. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) and Padgetts Honda's Ian Lowry start in thirteenth and fourteenth respecitvely whilst Alastair Seeley starts his Tyco Suzuki from the fifth row.
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More, from a press release issued by MotorSport Vision:
DUCATI 848 CHALLENGE GROWS IN STATUS AT MCE BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS
MSVR and Ducati UK are delighted to announce a joint partnership for the 2013 season as the Ducati 848 Challenge becomes an established feature of the British Superbike Championship. For the first time, the series comes under the organisation of MSVR with the full support of Ducati UK.
The prestigious one make series has produced exhilarating racing in the past three seasons with average grid sizes of 30 riders and is expected to crown a third different champion this year as riders compete on a level playing field running equal Ducati 848 machinery.
With comprehensive high definition quality television coverage on British Eurosport, and a calendar featuring the top UK BSB and International events and circuits (including, Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Donington and Oulton Park,) the series offers a great opportunity to enjoy top-class racing. The 2013 series will be a permanent class to the MCE British Superbike Championship series with the calendar to be announced in due course.
"It's great to be able to confirm the 848 Challenge will continue into 2013," said Tim Maccabee, Managing Director of Ducati UK. "We wanted to confirm the series early so that riders can start their plans for next year in good time and the level of rider support amongst the 2012 paddock made it an easy decision."
Stuart Higgs, BSB Series Director concluded: "The Ducati 848 Challenge has steadily grown enjoying an average grid of thirty riders this season. The high quality presentation and standard of racing has more than justified its new full time position supporting the MCE British Superbike Championship."
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More, from a press release issued by Swan Yamaha:
FRONT ROW START FOR HILL AS HAGA BATTLES ON AT DONINGTON PARK
Swan Yamaha's Tommy Hill will start from the front row of the grid for the eighth time this season in tomorrow's opening MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Donington Park after qualifying third. Team-mate Noriyuki Haga meanwhile continues to fight on despite his collarbone injury, just missing out on the top ten in twelfth.
Hill had been pushing hard throughout the free practice sessions and continued to close the advantage of his title rivals. The Swan Yamaha rider ended the final top ten qualifying session just 0.274 seconds adrift of Josh Brookes' pole position lap. Haga continues to ride despite still recovering from injury as he bids to claim the final Title Fighter position in the Showdown following the two races tomorrow.
Hill said: "It feels good to be on the front row and by the end of yesterday we had closed the gap. We seemed to have struggled on a few areas today after Cadwell Park, but now we have made some improvements and we have moved forward. It is getting down to the crunch time now ready for the Showdown and for me with Shakey out I need to try and get those podium credits tomorrow. I need to be aiming for the podium and then we can have the best possible advantage going into the Showdown. I need to give it 110% to get the Swan Yamaha back on the top step and get those podium credits. We just need to make a step forward again."
Haga said: "I have been having some issues today and we were trying many settings to try and find more grip with the rear tyre, but we couldn't find it this afternoon for qualifying. For tomorrow we will try another approach and my chief engineer Mark has worked hard to try and find a good set up for me. I will do my best to rest my shoulder for tomorrow and just try to push until the end of the second race for good results."
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More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:
DOUBLE POLE FOR TYCO SUZUKI GSX-R1000
Tyco Suzuki celebrated a double pole position earlier today at Donington Park at round nine of the British Superbike and Superstock Championships with Josh Brookes and American rookie PJ Jacobsen aboard the team's GSX-R1000s.
Brookes topped two of the Free Practice sessions before setting his pole position time in Superbike Q3 at a sun-baked Donington Park in the east Midlands. Jacobsen continues to impress with every outing on the Superstock GSX-R1000, taking his debut pole position in only his third appearance in the UK series.
"This is perfect timing coming into the Showdown. I do enjoy the bigger, faster, flowing circuits and maybe that's why we have been fast here right from the opening practice session. I'm obviously really happy to be on pole position, but if I'm honest the pole lap was riddled with mistakes and I was a bit down on myself. I'd just like to thank the team for sorting a great handling package this weekend on my Tyco Suzuki. It's probably the best start we've had to a weekend all year, so hopefully today sets the standard for tomorrow's races."
"If we could race on a Friday we'd be mint. I struggled with front-end feel today and I felt like I was going to fold the front on the fast right handers. We did make it better for Q2 but I just couldn't find the time to go through. It seems that as soon as we make any progress something silly happens or I slip off, which was the case this morning."
"I made a lot of mistakes yesterday even though we ended the day third quickest but today has been really good. It was difficult to find a clean lap with so much traffic on the circuit, but the Suzuki was working really well and I'm feeling awesome on it. The track day here definitely helped our preparation and it's maybe what we need to be looking at coming into the final two rounds, but for now we will concentrate on a result tomorrow."
Philip Neill - Team Manager:
"It's not too often you can talk about pole position in two classes in British Championship, and if I'm honest I didn't come here expecting that. However, all credit must go to the boys in the team as all their hard work this past few weeks has left us in a strong position today. In saying that, I will take nothing away from the performances of Josh and PJ, but I'm sure they will also admit it's very much a team effort.
"There was disappointment again for Alastair after slipping off this morning, but he had the pace on Friday so he just needs to find that confidence for tomorrow. For PJ to come here for the first time and put his GSX-R1000 on pole is a real confidence boost for him. He will undoubtedly be looking for his first win tomorrow but anywhere on the podium would be a top result on his debut."
British Superbike Qualifying: 1 Josh Brookes [Tyco Suzuki] 1:30.085sec; 2 Alex Lowes [Honda] +0.116; 3 Tommy Hill [Yamaha] +0.274; 4 Jon Kirkham [Honda] +0.472; 5 James Westmoreland [Honda] +0.503; 6 Tommy Bridewell [BMW] +0.705.
National 1000cc Superstock Qualifying: 1 PJ Jacobsen [Tyco Suzuki] 132.315sec; 2 Lee Johnston [Ducati] +0.272; 3 Keith Farmer [Kawasaki] +0.345; 4 Joe Burns [Kawasaki] +0.563; 5 Jason O'Halloran [Honda] +0.636; 6 Adam Jenkinson [Honda] +0.648.