Alex Lowes kept his cool under constant pressure from Shane Byrne and James Ellison to take victory in race on at Donington Park. The Samsung Honda rider didn’t put a wheel wrong in the entire twenty lap distance with Byrne and Ellison finishing right on his tail, the latter securing his showdown spot with a race to spare.
The race began with so much promise for James Westmoreland after his sensational pole position but the euphoria soon disappeared when the BMW was engulfed on the run towards Redgate. Westmoreland was eleventh through the Old Hairpin as a front four of Lowes, Byrne, Josh Brookes and Ellison distanced themselves from the pack.
Ellison pushed his way past Brookes at the Foggy Esses on lap two to take third but aside from that, the order at the front remained unchanged throughout although Byrne did throw everything at him on the last lap, swarming all over the Honda through the Melbourne Loop and into Goddards. Ellison was just half a second down at the chequered flag but Brookes was detached from the leading freight train mid-race and finished 6.8 seconds adrift.
After his disastrous start, Westmoreland rediscovered the pace that took him to pole position, setting the fastest lap to ensure he will have another crack from the front in race two. The Beverley rider also ensured his showdown hopes remain alive with a storming ride through to fifth, one place ahead of his teammate and chief rival Jon Kirkham.
Chris Walker took seventh for Quattro Plant Kawasaki ahead of the improving Jakub Smrz while PJ Jacobsen and Walker’s teammate Barry Burrell rounded out the top ten. Ryuichi Kiyonari meanwhile will have to wait to confirm his top six place after finishing a lacklustre thirteenth, leaving him one point short of mathematically securing his status as a title contender. Tommy Bridewell’s bid suffered a fatal blow though when his Halsall Racing Kawasaki broke down on lap thirteen while in fifth.
|2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship – As It Stands|
|1||Shane Byrne||350||2||Alex Lowes||318||3||Josh Brookes||297|
|4||James Ellison||190||5||Ryuichi Kiyonari||165||6||Jon Kirkham||145|