BSB Donington Park: Westmoreland Takes Shock Pole

by Louis Suddaby

James Westmoreland sprung a major surprise in qualifying at Donington Park, claiming his maiden BSB pole position as well as the first for BMW in British Superbike history. The Buildbase BMW rider trails teammate Jon Kirkham by five points in the race for the final showdown spot and with Kirkham ninth on the grid, Westmoreland is perfectly placed to earn himself a shot at the title.

The result didn’t appear to be on the cards through Q1 and Q2 but the Beverley rider stunned everyone, including himself with a 1:29.726 in Q3 to edge out Alex Lowes.

“It is brilliant for me and the Buildbase BMW Motorrad team to be on pole here at Donington Park”, commented Westmoreland. “We didn’t expect to be this strong because we had a bad weekend at Oulton Park and then again at Cadwell Park; we knew it would be better here and we have chipped away but we weren’t expecting this! I am made up for the team and so happy to have done this for BMW Motorrad.

“My lap timer wasn’t working on the bike so I just went as fast as I could. I did enough with that very good lap but now I have to keep it going as I want to be in the top six by the end of this round. I need podium finishes and will push as hard as I can in the races. I’ll get a good night’s sleep and then come out fighting and show what we can do.”

Lowes’ last gasp effort lifted him above James Ellison into second but the Milwaukee Yamaha rider is still in good shape to book his place in the showdown with just seven points required even if Westmoreland is victorious. Shane Byrne and Josh Brookes have long since secured their places and the pair will start together on the second row, fourth and fifth respectively, while it will be win-or-bust for Tommy Bridewell from sixth given his 25 point deficit to the top six.

Chris Walker heads the third row ahead of PJ Jacobsen and the under-pressure Kirkham while Ryuichi Kiyonari may yet face a nervy Sunday after qualifying twelfth. The three-time champion needs nineteen points tomorrow to guarantee his spot in the showdown but faces an uphill task to achieve that and may be left sweating in race two.


2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship – Round 9: Donington Park
Qualifying Classification
Pos Rider Bike Team Time
1  James Westmoreland BMW Buildbase BMW Motorrad 1:29.726
2  Alex Lowes Honda Samsung Honda 1:29.997
3  James Ellison Yamaha Milwaukee Yamaha 1:30.038
4  Shane Byrne Kawasaki Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki 1:30.171
5  Josh Brookes Suzuki Tyco Suzuki 1:30.211
6  Tommy Bridewell Kawasaki Halsall Racing Kawasaki 1:30.360
7  Chris Walker Kawasaki Quattro Plant Kawasaki 1:30.363
8  PJ Jacobsen Suzuki Tyco Suzuki 1:30.512
9  Jon Kirkham BMW Buildbase BMW Motorrad 1:30.521
10  Jakub Smrz Honda Padgetts Honda 1:30.531
Eliminated in Q2
11  Josh Waters Yamaha Milwaukee Yamaha 1:30.853
12  Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda Samsung Honda 1:30.992
13  Michael Rutter Honda Bathams Honda 1:31.213
14  Dan Linfoot Honda Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Honda 1:31.287
15  Barry Burrell Kawasaki Quattro Plant Kawasaki 1:31.409
16  Howie Mainwaring Kawasaki Tsingtao WKbikes Performance 1:32.179
17  Peter Hickman Honda Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Honda No Time
18  Keith Farmer Kawasaki Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki No Time
Eliminated in Q1
19  Karl Harris Kawasaki PR Racing Kawasaki 1:32.138
20  Matteo Baiocco Ducati Rapido Sport Racing 1:32.252
21  Lee Costello Kawasaki Halsall Racing Kawasaki 1:32.337
22  Martin Jessopp BMW Riders Motorcycles 1:32.824
23  Aaron Zanotti Suzuki STEL Suzuki 1:33.315
24  Jenny Tinmouth Honda Two Wheel Racing 1:33.829
25  Jamie Poole Kawasaki Quelch BSD Motorsport 1:35.340


2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship – As It Stands
Shane Byrne - Photo Credit: Jon Jessop Alex Lowes - Photo Credit: Samsung Honda Josh Brookes - Photo Credit: Tyco Suzuki
1 Shane Byrne 330 2 Alex Lowes 293 3 Josh Brookes 284
James Ellison - Photo Credit: Motorsport Vision MCE British Superbike Championship Jon Kirkham - Photo Credit: Buildbase BMW
4 James Ellison 174 5 Ryuichi Kiyonari 162 6 Jon Kirkham 135

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