Alex Lowes celebrated his first win of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season which he followed up with a hard earned third place, to take a slender one point lead in the standings over the defending champion Shane Byrne who bounced back from a first race crash to win in the second race.
Samsung Honda’s Lowes carried the pace that earned him his second pole start into the opening race to lead at the start as Byrne tried everything to find a way ahead before disaster stuck for the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider as he slid off at Brittens, sending him crashing out of contention.
Lowes was ecstatic with his victory ahead of Milwaukee Yamaha’s James Ellison who had overcome a problematic qualifying position with a hard ride through the pack as Josh Brookes finishes third on the Tyco Suzuki.
“I’m overjoyed to win here at a circuit where I have struggled in the past and, my twin brother Sam won last week in the World Supersports, so I could not have him putting one over me. Now I have to stay consistent as it is long season,” said Lowes.
Byrne was determined to set the record straight next time out, surging into the lead but again Lowes was on the charge, moving ahead for three laps before the three times winner of the crown re-asserted himself, moving back in front at Cascades, en route to the 45th MCE BSB victory of his career.
“Winning was a bit of a way of saying sorry to the team for the first race. It was strange that the front should tuck in the way it did and before I knew it I was down looking at the daisies! But we turned it around in the second race and we pulled it off with the win,” said Byrne who held off the resurgent Brookes with Lowes a close third.
“It’s good to be in front in the standings and I am delighted to have maintained my 100% podium finishing record,” added Lowes. “The rising track temperature in the second race didn’t help me, but I am not making excuses – we had good battles and when Shane gets ahead he is always hard to beat.”
But there was no cheer for Michael Rutter who was making his 400th appearance in this round only to be blitzed with machine problems to his Bathams Honda which forced his retirement in both races.
Round 3 – Oulton Park – 6 May
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
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
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
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