James Ellison closed to within 21 points of the championship lead after winning an explosive second race at Assen. The Milwaukee Yamaha rider finished second on the road behind Alex Lowes but a controversial collision with Shane Byrne saw the youngster excluded, handing victory to Ellison.
The flashpoint occurred on lap four, moments after Tommy Bridewell and Noriyuki Haga had come together, with Lowes tagging the rear wheel of Byrne coming through Ramshoek, wiping the Kawasaki rider out on the spot. Lowes fell to fourth behind Ellison and the Tyco Suzukis of PJ Jacobsen and Josh Brookes but eventually fought his way to a sixth straight win, only for the stewards to intervene.
Lowes was disappointed with the punishment handed out, believing the clash was nothing more than a racing incident, and that there was no intent to make contact with Byrne.
“I thought the move was OK but when you touch someone at 130mph they go down. Shakey is someone that I respect totally, he is my friend and I did not mean to do it. I was in a good position, he changed his line at the last minute and I hit him. It looks different when you watch it on television, but the pressure is on all of us in these three rounds of the Showdown and everyone wants close racing.
Despite the high speed nature of the accident, Byrne was noticeably calm when asked for his view and is already looking forward to Silverstone where he will arrive with a one point lead over Lowes.
“I’m OK, or OK as you can expect to be after crashing at 270kmh. Alex made a mistake but it’s all cool, we let the officials decide what the outcome was as that’s their job and we and our teams both respect that. It happened, the outcome is sorted and I’m just concentrating on getting myself fixed up in time for Silverstone.”
Byrne and Lowes weren’t the only title challengers to come out of race two empty handed with Brookes crashing out at the chicane. Tyco Suzuki still had reason to celebrate with Jacobsen claiming his first BSB podium in third which would later become second with Lowes’ disqualification. His teammate’s misfortune also promoted Ryuichi Kiyonari to an unlikely podium ahead of Jon Kirkham and James Westmoreland but already the title battle looks to be a four horse race with Kiyonari and Westmoreland losing ground in the Netherlands.
|2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship – 5 Races To Go|
|1||Shane Byrne||559||2||Alex Lowes||558||3||James Ellison||538|
|4||Josh Brookes||535||5||Ryuichi Kiyonari||522||6||J.Westmoreland||519|
|(Photo Credit: Jon Jessop, Honda, Tyco Suzuki, Motorsport Vision, Buildbase BMW)|