BSB

Lowes and Byrne split Oulton BSB race wins, double podium for Brookes

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Alex lowes and Shane Byrne have split race wins at round three of the 2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship held at Oulton park over night with Australia's Josh Brookes finishing on the podium at the conclusion of both races.

Lowes stormed to the opening British Superbike race win of the day at Oulton Park as defending champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne dramatically crashed out whilst getting ready to battle for the lead with his Samsung Honda rival.

On the opening lap Byrne took the initial lead off the line from Lowes and Brookes but the Samsung Honda rider was on the early attack and hit the front of the pack on the run down to Island. It was a short race for front row starter Keith Farmer as the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider crashed out unhurt at Shell on the opening lap.

The leading trio of Lowes, Byrne and Brookes started to edge out an advantage over the chasing pack with the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider eyeing a move to challenge Lowes for the lead; however on the twelfth lap he slid out of contention at Brittens and was forced to watch from the sidelines.

Lowes continued his impressive form to claim the win.

"It feels mega to finally get the monkey off my back and take a win although I was obviously disappointed that Shakey crashed as we probably would have had a good figh," said Lowes. "I am really chuffed, especially to win in front of such a massive crowd. It was a great race for me and it couldn't have gone any better. We just need to try and do the same in race two now."

As Lowes edged out an advantage Brookes began to drop back in the closing stages of the race which allowed a hard-charging James Ellison to close the gap after he had fought his way through the order from his tenth place on the grid. The Milwaukee Yamaha rider moved ahead of his Australian rival on the exit of Druids with two laps remaining to move to second which he held to the finish.

Jon Kirkham again secured a top five finish for Buildbase BMW after holding off the challenges from Tommy Bridewell and Peter Hickman who had been battling hard in the opening laps of the race. PJ Jacobsen, Chris Walker and Tristan Palmer completed the top ten.

It was disappointment for Michael Rutter as he was forced to retire from his 400th race whilst Robbin Harms also had his race ended prematurely when he crashed out unhurt at Cascades.
Byrne won the second race after a tight battle with Brookes and Lowes - Credit: www.britishsuperbike.com
Shane 'Shakey' Byrne returned to the top step of the podium in the second MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race at Oulton Park as the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider fought off Josh and Alex to claim the win and make amends for his race one crash.

Byrne took the lead on the opening lap from Brookes and Lowes with Ellison and Bridewell pushing hard, but behind them a crash between James Westmoreland and Hickman saw their weekend end at Old Hall on the first lap.

A confident Lowes after his race one win then took the lead on the seventh lap with a decisive move at Old Hall to move ahead of Byrne, but he fought straight back with a move at Cascades. The Samsung Honda rider was pushing hard to reclaim the position, which he did with a move at Island Bend.

Two laps later and Byrne was able to hit the front of the pack again at Cascades as Lowes was pushed to second with Brookes still tucked in behind the pair in third.

The Tyco Suzuki rider saw his opportunity and moved ahead of Lowes on the eleventh lap at Old Hall; the race one winner then went slightly off line which allowed Ellison to take advantage and move into third at Cascades.

Lowes made his comeback a lap later, passing the Milwaukee Yamaha rider and as the pair changed position three times within as many corners Lowes edged ahead.

Brookes had been closing on Byrne and looked set to make a move and on the penultimate lap he attempted to pass, which lost him ground and the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider just had the slight edge then to claim his fourth win of the season.

"Winning was a bit of a way of saying sorry to the team for the first race." Byrne stated. "I went down, lost the front and that was a strange one that the front should tuck in. One minute I was looking at Lowes' swing arms, then next I though blimey, I am looking at some daisies.

"But we turned it around in the second race and we pulled it off with the win. It was not easy as we had a lost out a bit on race settings because of the crash in the first race, but the team did a fine job to get another win," he added.

Brookes was able to hold off Lowes who now leads the standings by a single point ahead of Knockhill next month, with Kirkham finished fourth again for Buildbase BMW as he held off Bridewell on the lone Bathams Honda after Rutter was forced to retire from the race.

Brookes admited that some changes between the races gave him a better chance to fight for the victory in the second race at Oulton Park. The Australian made an attempt to pass Byrne on the penultimate lap but was forced to settle for second.

"That race felt a lot better after the first one and that is a big credit to the team who turned the bike around." Brookes commented. "I couldn't get the grip I needed in the first one but they changed the suspension and I could dig the tyres in and it worked.

"I enjoyed the second race and one error cost me, but there was a possible chance to take Shane and I had to try it to have a chance of the win but it did not come off. It was better to try it then than on the last lap and lose everything."

Chris Walker held a consistent sixth place ahead of an impressive Howie Mainwaring on the MH Kawasaki at their home round of the Championship. Farmer and Palmer finished 8th and 9th respectively.

Australian Josh Waters completed the top ten for the second race, after finishing 13th in the opening race.
The podium finishers celebrate after the second race - Credit: www.britishsuperbike.com
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, race one result:
1. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda)
2. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) +3.348s
3. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +5.460s
4. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +6.655s
5. Tommy Bridewell (Bathams Honda) +6.808s
6. Peter Hickman (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +20.568s
7. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) +25.551s
8. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +28.302s
9. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +28.862s
10. Tristan Palmer (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +30.306s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, race two result:
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.788s
3. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) +0.956s
4. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) +11.927s
5. Tommy Bridewell (Bathams Honda) +12.066s
6. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) +28.214s
7. Howie Mainwaring (MH Kawasaki) +37.373s
8. Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +37.443s
9. Tristan Palmer (Lloyds British GBmoto Honda) +37.688s
10. Josh Waters (Milwaukee Yamaha) +37.937s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Oulton Park:
1. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 117
2. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 116
3. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 96
4. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) 71
5. Jon Kirkham (Buildbase BMW) 68
6. Chris Walker (Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki) 43

Top Image: Lowes stormed to the opening British Superbike race win of the day at Oulton Park after starting on pole
Credit: www.britishsuperbike.com

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