Alex Lowes will start tomorrow’s first British Superbike race at Thruxton from pole position by virtue of his practice dominance after heavy rain eradicated any possibility of qualifying going ahead on Saturday. The weather took a turn for the worse during final practice and the downpour left the high speed circuit in no state for running, as BSB Series Race Director Stuart Higgs explained.
“Norman Williamson our MCRCB safety delegate and Adrian Johnstone our MCRCB chief steward and I have assessed the circuit. We are not in a position to restart so we have cancelled MCE BSB qualifying and the grid will be formed from the combined result from free practices.”
Lowes, who also took his first ever BSB pole here in 2011, was disappointed not to have the opportunity to go out and grab pole position but understood the position the organisers found themselves in.
“It is shame that it is not a real pole position after a qualifying session, but I will settle for it as I was fastest here in both the wet and then the dry sessions so I am well set for the races. This is the right decision made in everyone’s interests; this circuit is really fast and these conditions made it unsafe. I just feel bad for the spectators and marshals who have stood out in the pouring rain.”
With the final practice session being disrupted, the grid has effectively been decided by the times set on Friday afternoon with Lowes on pole ahead of Tyco Suzuki’s PJ Jacobsen who lines up a sensational second on just his second BSB weekend. The American starts between Lowes and championship leader Shane Byrne with Josh Brookes completing the front row on the second Tyco Suzuki.
Jakub Smrz will start fifth for Padgetts Honda on the circuit which the team did the double on last year with Michael Rutter proving his pre-season injury is well and truly behind him with sixth place. Josh Waters lines up in seventh after a much better start to his second BSB weekend than he had in his first while Chris Walker completes row two.
Waters’ Milwaukee Yamaha teammate James Ellison was one of the big losers as a result of the cancellation with his best practice time only good enough for seventeenth. Ryuichi Kiyonari also paid for a lack of pace on Friday and will only start one place higher in sixteenth.
|2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship – Round 2: Thruxton|
|Combined Free Practice Classification (Qualifying Cancelled Due To Weather Conditions)|
|1||Alex Lowes||Honda||Samsung Honda||1:16.412|
|2||PJ Jacobsen||Suzuki||Tyco Suzuki||1:16.706|
|3||Shane Byrne||Kawasaki||Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki||1:16.790|
|4||Josh Brookes||Suzuki||Tyco Suzuki||1:17.014|
|5||Jakub Smrz||Honda||Padgetts Honda||1:17.477|
|6||Michael Rutter||Honda||Bathams Honda||1:17.479|
|7||Josh Waters||Yamaha||Milwaukee Yamaha||1:17.527|
|8||Chris Walker||Kawasaki||Quattro Plant Kawasaki||1:17.555|
|9||Jon Kirkham||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||1:17.709|
|10||James Westmoreland||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||1:17.776|
|11||Karl Harris||Kawasaki||PR Racing Kawasaki||1:17.855|
|12||Keith Farmer||Kawasaki||Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki||1:18.092|
|13||Peter Hickman||Honda||Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Honda||1:18.182|
|14||Martin Jessopp||BMW||Riders Motorcycles||1:18.282|
|15||Danny Buchan||Kawasaki||Quattro Plant Kawasaki||1:18.308|
|16||Ryuichi Kiyonari||Honda||Samsung Honda||1:18.337|
|17||James Ellison||Yamaha||Milwaukee Yamaha||1:18.498|
|18||Tommy Bridewell||Honda||Bathams Honda||1:18.562|
|19||Luke Quigley||Kawasaki||MH Kawasaki||1:19.003|
|20||Howie Mainwaring||Kawasaki||MH Kawasaki||1:19.184|
|21||Robbin Harms||Honda||Doodson Motorsport Honda||1:19.211|
|22||Matteo Baiocco||Ducati||Rapido Sport Racing||1:19.398|
|23||Jenny Tinmouth||Honda||Two Wheel Racing||1:19.786|
|24||Aaron Zanotti||Suzuki||Aaron Zanotti Racing||1:21.598|
|25||Lee Costello||Kawasaki||Halsall Racing Kawasaki||1:26.013|