Alex Lowes has moved into a one point lead in the 2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship after claiming his first win of the season at Oulton Park on Bank Holiday Monday. The Samsung Honda rider took advantage of a rare slip-up from Shane Byrne to take over at the top of the standings before Byrne closed back in with victory in race two.
The two frontrunners in the title chase were running nose to tail in race one when Byrne did the unthinkable on lap 12, sliding out at Hizzy’s chicane when the front end of his Kawasaki folded underneath him. Even he was at a loss as to how it happened but Lowes didn’t care as he cruised to an unchallenged victory ahead of James Ellison who fought his way through from tenth on the grid to second, beating Josh Brookes into third while John Kirkham held off Tommy Bridewell for fourth.
Byrne’s intention was clear in race two although his ride to victory wasn’t entirely comfortable. Josh Brookes and Alex Lowes pushed him all the way with the Australian winning the battle for second while James Ellison was struck down with an electrical problem when he still had a part to play. Kirkham and Bridewell remained inseparable, matching their race one results, but a first lap accident for James Westmoreland cost him the chance to match his seventh place in the opener, allowing Chris Walker to replace him in the final showdown spot with sixth in race two.
Ryuichi Kiyonari’s woes continued as the three-time champion failed to trouble the top ten all weekend but his fortunes were in stark contrast to his series leading teammate who is keen to maintain his consistent start to the campaign.
I’m overjoyed to win at this circuit where I have struggled in the past and to move ahead in the standings is fine but this is a long season and I have to stay consistent. I had to win here as my twin brother Sam won last week in World Supersport and I cannot have him putting one over me! In the first race I settled into a good rhythm and enjoyed the race. The second race was a bit frustrating and the rising track temperature didn’t help, but I am not making excuses. Once Shakey gets away he is hard to beat but we had a bit of a dust up at the end which was fun. I am just enjoying battling with him and the rest of them and can’t wait for Knockhill.”
Byrne admitted to feeling he owed the team after his race one slip-up and was relieved to end the day on a high.
“Getting that win in the second race has definitely put a smile on my face and it was the best way of saying sorry to the team for crashing in race one. The crash was a strange one as I didn’t do anything differently on that lap but the front just folded on me without warning and that was that. I was determined to come back stronger and whilst I’d like to say I was controlling it from the front, it was extremely difficult as Josh and Alex kept the pressure on throughout. I was happy with the set-up of the bike and to finish the weekend with a win was just what we needed.”
|2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship|
|Riders’ Championship Standings After Round 3: Oulton Park|
|1||Alex Lowes||Honda||Samsung Honda||1||117|
|2||Shane Byrne||Kawasaki||Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki||4||116|
|3||Josh Brookes||Suzuki||Tyco Suzuki||96|
|4||James Ellison||Yamaha||Milwaukee Yamaha||1||71|
|5||Jon Kirkham||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||68|
|6||Chris Walker||Kawasaki||Quattro Plant Kawasaki||43|
|7||James Westmoreland||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||36|
|8||Keith Farmer||Kawasaki||Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki||34|
|9||Tommy Bridewell||Honda||Bathams Honda||33|
|10||PJ Jacobsen||Suzuki||Tyco Suzuki||31|
|11||Peter Hickman||Honda||Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Honda||28|
|12||Ryuichi Kiyonari||Honda||Samsung Honda||27|
|13||Howie Mainwaring||Kawasaki||MH Kawasaki||22|
|14||Jakub Smrz||Honda||Padgetts Honda||20|
|15||Michael Rutter||Honda||Bathams Honda||19|
|16||Karl Harris||Kawasaki||PR Racing Kawasaki||18|
|17||Josh Waters||Yamaha||Milwaukee Yamaha||17|
|18||Robbin Harms||Honda||Doodson Motorsport Honda||13|
|19||Tristan Palmer||Honda||Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Honda||13|
|20||Martin Jessopp||BMW||Riders Motorcycles||9|
|21||Matteo Baiocco||Ducati||Rapido Sport Racing||5|
|22||Danny Buchan||Kawasaki||Quattro Plant Kawasaki||3|
|23||Aaron Zanotti||Suzuki||Aaron Zanotti Racing||1|
|Next Round: Knockhill – June 16th|