SAMSUNG HONDA SEEKS DUTCH DELIGHT AT ASSEN

Alex Lowes looking forward to the showdown in Assen

Alex Lowes looking forward to the showdown in Assen

The Samsung Honda team heads to Assen in The Netherlands this weekend (20-22 September) for the opening round of the ‘Showdown’ – the final three rounds of the British Superbike Championship season – at the legendary Dutch TT circuit with Alex Lowes and Ryuichi Kiyonari aiming to deliver two strong performances.

The fast and flowing 4.452km circuit in the north of The Netherlands is renowned for close racing and Lowes arrives at the first of the three BSB Showdown rounds with confidence high after winning the last four straight races – double wins at Cadwell Park and Donington Park. The 23-year-old from Lincolnshire trails series leader Shane Byrne by just six points going into this weekend’s races and knows that another winning performance could give him the advantage.

Only the top six riders at the end of the regular season qualify for the Showdown and Ryuichi Kiyonari secured his own place last time out at Donington Park. The Japanese ace – a three-time winner of BSB – is seeking to recapture his podium form in order to climb the championship standings at Assen.

In the British Supersport Championship Jason O’Halloran is on target to challenge for his first victory of the season after two consecutive podium performances, including second place last time out at Donington.

Alex Lowes:
I really can’t wait for Assen. There was a great atmosphere there last year and I am really excited about going back there for the start of the Showdown. I think we are in a good position as the Samsung Honda Fireblade is working well and I feel good on the bike. But we know we still have some improvements to make for Assen as it is a track that should suit the CBR. We will be giving it everything at Assen; I don’t think it is going to be easy but we just need to stay focused and try to do the best job we can. I know for sure who I need to beat and that’s the other five in the Showdown!

Ryuichi Kiyonari:
I am happy to be in the Showdown but we need to be faster. We have had some small problems at the last rounds and we have been trying to improve, but it is a balance. We need to change that at Assen because it is the Showdown now. The final three rounds will be different as everyone will be pushing to win the championship. I think it will be very hard but I will try my best. I will try and be faster so we can get some more podiums and more wins. It’s simple: we need to be faster if we are going to win the title.

Jason O’Halloran:
I have never raced at Assen so I can’t wait to get there and get started. I’m in the middle of a real busy time for me, Assen will be my fifth consecutive weekend of racing; I don’t feel like I’ve stood still for five minutes since Cadwell Park! Donington was good for us with a second but I felt like we were capable of more than that if it hadn’t been for a few little things in the race, so I will keep working hard and trying to improve like always. You can be sure I’ll be going for the win at Assen.

Havier Beltran – team manager
We arrive at Assen off the back of a very positive weekend at Donington and it was always our goal to have a very strong end to the main part of the season. We’ll aim to carry that momentum into the Showdown. Alex’s performances over the past two rounds have been very impressive but we know that it will only get harder in the Showdown so it is important to keep the focus on what we are doing. Alex has shown he is riding better than ever before and we hope this continues at Assen. For Kiyo this is the time where he needs to improve his performance because these rounds are crucial to the outcome and we know that if we can get everything right for him he is capable of wins before the end of the season. We have seen it before so the team has been working hard since Donington to see what we can do to get Kiyo back on the podium at Assen. In Supersport Jason has really put in some determined performances in the past few rounds and scored his best result of the season at Donington. The championship is so close but we are expecting another strong weekend from him.

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