British Superbikes to receive welcome to Assen

British Superbikes to receive welcome to Assen

With the top six Title Fighters decided during the previous round at Donington, the MCE British Superbike Championship now moves onto the iconic Assen circuit in mainland Europe for the first round of the ‘Showdown’.

Pirelli Overview
Against the odds, Donington Park saw the British Superbike class continue its 100% run of dry races for the 2013 season, and once again the softer option SC1 front and rear combination took both race wins. For the first time this year however, pole position and both fastest laps came from James Westmoreland who was using the harder compound SC2 front tyre.
The ‘Cathedral of Speed’, as Assen is affectionately dubbed, hosts races from both MotoGP and World Superbikes and this will be the British Superbikes second visit to the iconic circuit. Featuring fast, flowing corners, the circuit has gone through various layout changes over the years but remains one of the most popular with both riders and fans alike.
Joining the British Superbike Championship in Assen is the Pirelli backed British Supersport and Ducati TriOptions 848 Challenge Championships. Every competitor in these two classes will use the Diablo Supercorsa SC V2 control tyre.
Race Preview
With the main season now over, the six title fighters of Shane Byrne, Alex Lowes, Josh Brookes, James Ellison, Ryuichi Kiyonari and James Westmoreland go head-to-head over the three round ‘Showdown’ to decide who will become the 2013 British Superbike Champion.
The six riders have had their points equalled to 500 and podium credits added, meaning Shane Byrne now leads Lowes by just six points. Following his double victories at both Cadwell and Donington, Alex Lowes became the first rider to complete back-to-back doubles since Leon Camier in 2009.
Last year saw those riders with previous experience around the Dutch circuit lead the way, with both Shane Byrne and Josh Brookes trading wins in the dry but cool conditions.
Following his accident at Cadwell Park, Alastair Seeley lost the lead in the British Supersport Championship at Donington as a victory and second place from Stuart Easton gave him an eight point lead, with three rounds remaining.
Packed grandstands at Assen

Packed grandstands at Assen

Pirelli View

Pirelli Racing Manager Jason Griffiths commented, We reach the critical point of the season and head for a circuit which does provide a real test for the tyres. It’s likely that we’ll face low track temperatures during the weekend and this, combined with the nature of the asphalt at Assen, will dictate the need for the teams to work on the optimum machine setting in terms of grip and durability. This year’s SC1 rear solution in both Diablo Superbike and Diablo Supercorsa is better suited to these conditions so we look forward to contributing to what is sure to be a weekend of intense racing.”
View from behind the screen
Having arrived at Donington in seventh position, James Westmoreland enjoyed the most successful Superbike round of his career, claiming pole position and both fastest laps, to secure his place in the top six; “It was great to be able to secure a place in the Showdown at Donington. It was the goal at the start of the season, but we’ve had some bad luck, including three DNF’s which were through no fault of my own, so to set pole and get both fastest laps hopefully showed why we deserve to be in the top six.
I’m looking forward to Assen, I had a good round there last year and BMW enjoyed some strong finishes too so I’m confident I can do well, although the other title fighters have had more experience around the track. The circuit itself is great, it’s really fast and flowing and it is definitely a great experience to be racing on such a well-known circuit.
The circuit isn’t too bad on tyres, although it can get pretty cold which caused some problems last year with the grip. However the new SC1 rear tyre should definitely help to solve this so I expect it to be less of an issue this year.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, now we’re in the top six the pressure is off slightly. If we’re realistic, we’re not going to be challenging for the title but I’m positive we can be running up front and the goal is definitely to claim BMW’s first British Superbike podium!”
2012 Flashback:
Race one result:
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +4.731s
3. Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +4.881s
4. Luca Scassa (Padgetts Honda) +9.327s
5. Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha) +10.024s
6. Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +11.026s
7. Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +11.538s
8. James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +17.160s
9. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +23.137s
10. Robin Harms (Doodson Motorsport Honda) +23.292s
Race two result:
1. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki)
2. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.246s
3. Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) +3.018s
4. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +3.346s
5. Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +9.074s
6. Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha) +9.140s
7. Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) +9.245s
8. James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +17.311s
9. Robbin Harms (Doodson Motorsport Honda) +17.633s
10. Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +18.891s
Championship standings after Donington Park: (Points equalled to 500 and Podium Credits added)
1. Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 539
2. Alex Lowes (Samsung Honda) 533
3. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 522
4. James Ellison (Milwaukee Yamaha) 513
5. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Samsung Honda) 504
6. James Westmoreland (Buildbase BMW) 500
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