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Sep 3, 2013

MCE British Superbike Showdown Riders Will Be Locked In This Coming Weekend At Donington Park

MCE British Superbike Championship: Alex Lowes (22), Shane Byrne (67), James Ellison (77) and Josh Brookes (2) in action.

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship reaches the climax to the Main Season at Donington Park this weekend (6/7/8 September) as the six Showdown riders will be confirmed ahead of the final three round title decider. Shane 'Shakey' Byrne, Alex Lowes and Josh Brookes already have their places secure, but eight riders still have a mathematical chance of the final three Title Fighter positions.

Byrne, Lowes and Brookes know that this is their last shot at claiming the last six podium credits that could make or break their title aspirations at the final round of the season at Brands Hatch in October, but for the chasing pack the two races at Donington Park will prove critical if they are to be in with a fighting chance of claiming the MCE BSB crown.

Milwaukee Yamaha’s James Ellison currently holds fourth place in the standings and fresh from his double win in the Silverstone 200 support race at the British Grand Prix last weekend the team are ready to carry the momentum to Donington Park. Ellison needs just seven points to secure his Showdown position but knows that he cannot afford for any problems.

Ellison said: “We wanted to get into the Showdown at Cadwell Park and that didn’t happen so race one at Donington we need to get that sorted as we can’t afford for anything to go wrong and miss out on the title fight. I won’t say I am going to take it easy, but we need to get our Showdown place confirmed and then all hell can break loose! Usually I am not usually a rider that has race tactics but now we need the Showdown place then go hell for leather over the final rounds to try for those wins.”

Ellison has a twelve point advantage over triple champion Ryuichi Kiyonari as the Samsung Honda team aim to secure both riders in the title fight at the circuit where the Japanese rider celebrated his first MCE BSB victory. Kiyonari is the only one of the eight riders capable of making the Showdown who has made the cut for the top six before, however he missed out on the podium last time out at Cadwell Park.

Sixth place in the standings is currently held by Jon Kirkham who leads his Buildbase BMW team-mate James Westmoreland by just five points and the pair are going head to head for the final Title Fighter position.

Ahead of his home round Kirkham said: “Donington Park is a track that the BMW should work well at so hopefully we can come out and be on the pace. We just need to find that little chunk extra; it is just a case of everything falling into place. I then just have to do what I can; I am more confident for this weekend compared to Oulton and Cadwell Park and a home round is always a bit of an extra boost. I know the boys behind me will be out there to go for it so we just need to try and beat them.”

The Buildbase BMWs could still come under fire from the impressive Tommy Bridewell, who scored the Halsall Racing Kawasaki team their maiden podium in their debut season. He lies just 20 points adrift of Westmoreland and knows that he could still make the Title Fighter line up.

Bridewell said: “For sure I am going to Donington Park with the 100 percent focus to get into the Showdown. The problem is that I can do the best performance I possibly can but that might still not be enough as it will depend on what the other riders do. I will be pushing to the maximum that’s for sure.”

Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki’s Chris Walker is still in contention for a place inside the top six at his home round of Donington Park, whilst last year’s National Superstock 1000 Championship race winner PJ Jacobsen and Keith Farmer can’t be mathematically ruled out.

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More, from a press release issued by Team WD-40:


The British Superbikes Championship arrives at Donington Park this week for its second visit to the track in 2013, and Team WD-40 is looking to continue its excellent recent form.

A dominant display by the team at Cadwell Park less than two weeks ago delivered race wins for Tommy Aquino in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 and Joe Francis in the Monster Energy British Motostar.

It was Aquino’s third successive podium, but his first victory of the year and sees him lie in third place in the championship, still in with an outside chance of the title.

Francis’ win was his third of the year, in a season that has seen him clock up a podium place in each of the eight rounds and he’s hoping to stretch his championship lead at Donington Park.

And with Jon Railton hoping to get back to form, everyone at Team WD-40 is hoping for another good weekend of racing.

“I’m totally fired up for this weekend at Donington Park,” said Aquino. “The win at Cadwell Park was immense and I’m raring to get back on the track and try to experience those winning feelings again.

“Of course with so many good riders in the field, including my own team mate Jon, it is going to be a tough ask to win again.

“But racing is all about rising to the challenge and I’m sure everyone at Team WD-40 will be hoping for another podium finish this weekend. My aim is to deliver that.”

Railton is heading back to the scene of a heavy fall earlier this season, with the injuries sustained then still causing significant discomfort and affecting his form.

The rider from Grafham, Huntingdonshire, is confident the Donington Park race, earlier in the season, has given him the experience that will be invaluable in the next round, where he acknowledges a top ten finish is required.

After finishing second and sixth in the Superstock category of the Silverstone 200 last weekend, he’s looking forward to a positive race weekend.

He said: “Donington Park is probably my favourite track of the season, but this year it was the start of my injury problems, which have affected my recent form.

“Now I’m back to make sure it’s the start of some decent results and a strong end to the season.

“Racing at Silverstone was good and has helped build my fitness up another level, so I’ll now head to Donington and hope for a better result than last time”

Cheshire-based Francis, is racing for the first time this year at Donington Park and will be asking his team mates for advice on the quickest sections of track as he looks to extend his lead in the Monster Energy British Motostar Championship.

The 15-year-old, from Backford near Chester, has been on the podium at each of the eight rounds this season and another good finish will take him a step closer to the title.

He won at Cadwell Park by less than half a wheel, just 0.020 seconds, and knows another close battle is likely to ensue at Donington Park.

“I had a huge rush of adrenalin when I knew I’d won at Cadwell Park and I’ll be looking to win again this weekend,” said Francis.

“I know my rivals will be pushing very hard to beat me, so I’ll once again be focused on getting to the chequered flag first.

“With four races left I can’t think of the championship yet as I don’t want complacency to affect my race. I’ll be going all out for the win and then might see how the title race looks.

Brent Gladwin, Team WD-40’s manager, said: “After a steady, if not spectacular start to the season, the lads are now delivering what we know they and the bikes are capable of.

“Tommy is currently the form rider in the Superstock 1000 and Joe is simply continuing his excellent season with some very brave rides.

“We’re hoping Jon can get back some of the early season promise at Donington Park, as he usually does well at this track, but everyone in Team WD-40 is focused on delivering those cherished podium finishes.

“It’s this part of the season that really determines how the championships finish and while we’re still in the mix for both the Motostar and Superstock 1000 titles, Team WD-40 will remain focused on another batch of good finishes.”

WD-40 is the new title sponsor of GR Motosport. The company has just launched seven new products specifically for use on motorbikes, under its recently launched WD-40 Specialist Motorbike brand.

Team Partners: Stauff UK, Cargolink Express, L&A Reinforcements, Carrino access flooring, The Air Con Experts, F&G Commercials, Bennetts Motorcycle Insurance, Kent Holiday Cottages, RS Components, 3 Squared, Signsxtra

Technical Partners: Kawasaki, Scorpion Red Power, Dynojet UK, Swinton Motorcycles, R&G, PPG Paint, Goodridge, Pipercross, Solo Motorcycle products, Super B, MG Competition, STIHL, Geo Technology, Sigma

More, from a press release issued by Honda:



Ryuichi Kiyonari is focussed on racking up enough points in this ninth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Donington Park to ensure that he secures a place among the elite six riders who will qualify as "title-fighters" in the Showdown sequence of seven races that begin at Assen, Holland, in the following round.

Riding the Samsung Honda, the Japanese rider, a former three times winner of the British crown, is currently in fifth position in the overall standings and goes into these races at the Leicestershire circuit, where he enjoyed his first victories in the series back in 2004, knowing that two top six finishes will be sufficient for him to make the cut.

Kiyonari has struggled for consistency across the season, working with his team to improve the performance of his bike, and that has left him chasing the leading pack, visiting the podium only four times so far, on each occasion taking third place. In contrast his team-mate 22 year old Alex Lowes in running strongly and full of confidence.

Lowes moved back into second place in the standings in the previous round at Cadwell Park, the Lincolnshire circuit where he spent the formative years of his career, with a race winning double, taking his victory tally now to four and importantly boosting his podium credit score. This score is all important in the outcome of the crown.

The mechanism for deciding the country's premier title is that the top six riders after this Donington Park round have their points scores deleted and each of them given 500 points to which are added their podium credit points. This effectively levels the playing field and ensures that the battle for the title goes through to the final race, with points scored on the normal basis in the final seven decisive races.

Lowes, a model of consistency across the season, has taken four victories, each giving him three podium credits, five seconds and five thirds. He now has 27 podium credits, eight less than the series leader and defending champion Shane Byrne. Now Lowes goes to the Leicestershire circuit, close to his base in the nearby town of Derby, firmly focussed, his sole intention to make further inroads into the Kawasaki rider's advantage.

The Showdown is effectively out of the reach of the Lloyds British GBmoto Honda duo of Peter Hickman and Dan Linfoot, together with Michael Rutter aboard the Bathams Honda and Padgett's Honda rider Jakub Smrz and they will now be concentrating on strong finishes and high points scores in the chase for the BSB Riders Cup. Jenny Tinmouth, the only lady to score a point in BSB, will be aiming for better things after a problematic time aboard her Two Wheels Racing Honda in the previous round.

Honda rider quotes:
Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda):
"These are races I am really looking forward to, this is like my second home round as I live in Derby and I've always enjoyed riding Donington Park. I go there with some confidence on the back of my two wins last time out at Cadwell Park. This is the last round of the main season part of the championship and while I want to win the races and get the podium credits to move closer to Shane Byrne ahead of the start of the Showdown it is a case of using my head and getting what I can. I can't win the title at Donington but I could lose it. I will be working hard, starting with first practice, and focussed on the job and should not be far away from the front."

Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda):
"This round is so important because of qualifying for the Showdown. At the moment we are in the top six and we need to stay there to go through. We have improved again in the last round at Cadwell Park and we need to work hard again at the weekend. Donington Park was the place where I first won a race in BSB so I have good memories from there. I really like the track so I need to push hard and try and have good results. I always try to win races. We are improving all of the time, working hard."

More, from a press release issued by Halsall Racing:

Halsall Racing Aiming High At Donington Park

The Bolton-based Halsall Racing Kawasaki Team are chasing top 10 finishes for both Tommy Bridewell and Lee Costello and maybe even a place in the Showdown as the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship moves to Donington Park this weekend.

After his dazzling second place finish at Cadwell Park on August Bank Holiday Monday on the Halsall Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R, Tommy Bridewell now has an outside chance of making the Showdown at the end of this weekend. The Devizes rider is currently in eighth place, 25 points behind sixth-placed Jon Kirkham and he knows another result like the last one could be enough to secure him the coveted final place in the title scrap.

Team-mate Lee Costello is hoping he can start fighting for top 10 positions this weekend after team owner Martin Halsall has strengthened his squad with new data and suspension experts in a bid to help the Bolton rider progress further aboard his Halsall Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R.

Tommy Bridewell: "I'm really looking forward to Donington Park after our successful weekend at Cadwell where I believe I rode as well as I could and felt I was as strong as anyone else. I felt more confident in myself and my own ability and now I'm keen to do the same at Donington Park as there is still the chance of making the Showdown. After the bad luck and DNFs I suffered early in the year, I never thought this would be a possibility. I went to Cadwell 49 points behind and halved that gap to 25 so yes, it is possible. However, there are only two races left to go so I can't really pin all of my hopes on it. I'm just going out there without any pressure and we'll do what we can."

Lee Costello: "After Cadwell Park where we were struggling, Martin has brought in some new team members for my side of the garage so hopefully we can start to make improvements. Donington and the rest of the tracks this season are more like the bigger European circuits which I prefer so I think we're in a much better place. My aim is to get a decent set-up nailed on Friday so then we can come out fighting on Saturday. We've seen what Tommy can do so we know the bike is fast enough and I'm hoping with the right guys behind me and a big effort from me, we can break into the top 10 this weekend. That's the aim."

Martin Halsall, Team Owner: "Both Tommy and Lee have historically ran well at Donington Park so we're all looking forward to this round. We need to keep up the good work as far as Tommy is concerned and I really want to put my focus onto progressing Lee further. We've made some changes within the team to put a bit more input on Lee's suspension and data which should help bring him on further. Hopefully we can find our feet with Lee as we know he's capable of running well so we just need to get the bike right for him. With Tommy we know where we are and what we need to do to give him what he needs so I hope we can pick up where we left off at Cadwell, which will give us a bit of extra time to really help progress Lee. I'm confident it is all coming together and we can have a strong remainder of the season."