LOWES FASTEST BUT BYRNE CRASHES UNINJURED IN FREE PRACTICE

Lowes set the pace in free practice

Lowes set the pace in free practice

Round 11     28/29/30 September   Silverstone – Report

Alex Lowes underlined his late season charge for the MCE Insurance British Superbike crown by setting the pace in free practice ahead of Sunday’s penultimate round at Silverstone.
The WFR Honda rider continued his momentum to head off the late challenges posed by Padgett’s Honda rider Luca Scassa and series leader Josh Brookes aboard the Tyco Suzuki as he powered in a lap of 2m 08.056secs.
“We still have work to do, but already I am feeling confident that I challenge in these races,” said Lowes. “I am in the Showdown and I am not here to make up the numbers.”
Lowes lies fourth overall among the six Title Fighters and goes into these races trailing a confident Brookes by 36 points as the Australian closed to within 0.208secs of the Lincolnshire rider.  Brookes made the most of the available track time to prepare for the races watched by his nearest rival Shane “Shakey” Byrne who crashed out on his second lap of the afternoon session.
Byrne, who goes into the two races trailing Brookes by just two points, escaped injury as he was high-sided off his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki at Chapel, giving his team a major rebuild ahead of Saturday’s qualifying.
Byrne said: “It was a strange crash as when you are on the limit you can expect it, but it was only my second lap out! It flicked me up and I came back down on the bike and was heading into the gravel at a fair rate of knots so I had to bail out! I am ok though and ready for tomorrow.”
Reigning champion Tommy Hill set the fourth fastest time on his Swan Yamaha as he prepared to fight back into contention after his bizarre incident ahead of the first race at Assen last Sunday. “We are a bit down on track time here, but I am happy there is more to come from the bike but we have to push on,” said Hill.
Michael Laverty, currently fifth in the rankings, was sixth fastest as he spend much of the time working on the set-up of his Samsung Honda to get the best out of his tyres and to finalise a decision as to which compound to use in the races.
But the sixth of the elite riders in the Showdown for the title, Tommy Bridewell has work to do, having set the 16th best time on the Supersonic Racing BMW, as he struggled with technical problems in the afternoon session.
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Results
Free practice one:
1: Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) 2m:11.902s
2: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.017s
3: Barry Burrell (Buildbase BMW) +0.157s
4: Chris Walker (Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki) +1.915s
5: Peter Hickman (Buildbase BMW) +2.729s
6: Jakub Smrz (Splitlath Redmond Aprilia) +2.768s
Free practice two:
1: Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) 2m08.056s
2: Luca Scassa (Padgetts Honda) +0.004s
3: Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.208s
4: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +0.605s
5: James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +0.634s
6: Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +0.708s
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