SAMSUNG HONDA END SEASON WITH A PODIUM FINISH AT BRANDS HATCH

Samsung Honda at Brands Hatch The Samsung Honda team returned to the podium in the final round of the 2012 British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch.

Michael Laverty claimed third place in the second race of the weekend despite a hard battle to score the podium finish, whilst Jon Kirkham was eighth after forcing through the order after a tough qualifying session.

In the final race of the season Laverty was again on for the podium – dicing with the leading foursome – but was collected in a racing accident by fellow Honda rider Alex Lowes at Paddock Hill Bend on the final lap of the race. Kirkham would again finish a solid eighth.

The loan Samsung Honda Superstock 1000 rider, Gary Johnson – with team-mate Jason O’Halloran deputising in the Padgetts Racing Honda squad for this round only – finished eleventh in the final race of the season.

Michael Laverty: “It was nice to be back up on the podium but it was a hard second race. I struggled to get passed Alex Lowes; I put a couple of moves on him and he shut the door quite aggressively and nearly took us both down. Once he was out of the way I got into a good rhythm, but the two safety cars did make it hard work, but we pushed hard. The crash in the last race was not the way I wanted to end the season. My pace was a bit stronger and I was able to catch the leaders but I didn’t want to do anything rash out of respect for their championship fight. I knew that Alex was close to me, but didn’t realise how close till I saw his front wheel and then his bike took me down; he apologised, he wanted the podium as much as I did. It was been a bit of frustrating weekend but that’s racing.”

Jon Kirkham: “It has been a tough season, that started awesome but since my crash at Oulton Park it has been difficult for me. It wasn’t until Cadwell Park that we started getting back to where we needed to be. The final races of the season were better and we had three top ten finishes and got closer to the front and that was what we needed. Overall I am happy with this weekend and will take the experience and move forward.”

Havier Beltran, Team Manager: “It has been a challenging year without the results or the reward. Michael salvaged a podium finish and we turned some things around this weekend and that was the priority. Both rides felt stronger this weekend but it was too late for the championship. We will have a rethink now and start planning for next season.”

For further information about Honda, the Honda Racing team and its riders please visit
www.honda.co.uk or www.honda-racing.co.uk

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