Posted: 09 Sep 2013
It looked as though it could be a difficult weekend at Donington Park for Round 9 of the British Superbike Championship as practice day was a washout. Fortunately, the weather picked up for qualifying on Saturday and we weren’t let down with the racing either. The focus of the weekend largely being upon who would take the final spot in the title fighters’ showdown, with the Buildbase BMW pairing of James Westmoreland and Jon Kirkham separated by just a few points with the rejuvenated Tommy Bridewell sniffing down their necks.
Westmoreland started as he meant to go on, as he took his and BMW’s first ever British Superbike pole position in qualifying on Sunday, although dropped back into the field after a poor start in the first race. At the front, Alex Lowes pretty much took control from the start and despite a threatening pairing of Shane Byrne and James Ellison behind him, the order remained the same across the line despite many attempts by the three-time champion to overtake the young Lincolnshire man.
In the showdown fight, Westmoreland was scrapping with Tommy Bridewell for fifth place, however the Devizes man retired with engine difficulties ruling him out of the showdown fight. Unfortunately for Westmoreland, Jon Kirkham finished just a point behind him meaning he wasn’t secure in the showdown just yet. However, while chasing Bridewell down Westmoreland set the fastest lap of the race putting him in pole position again for race two.
In the second race, it had looked like we’d see a repeat of the podium from the first however this was scuppered Milwaukee Yamaha’s James Ellison running on at the esses. Lowes took the win for the second time, making him the first rider to take back to back double victories since Leon Camier in 2009. Byrne came home in second ahead of Halsall Kawasaki’s Tommy Bridewell. James Westmoreland bagged an important fourth place, ahead of Josh Brookes, securing him his place in the showdown as Kirkham finished three places back of him.
The six title fighters are therefore confirmed as Shane Byrne, Alex Lowes, Josh Brookes, James Ellison, Ryuichi Kiyonari and James Westmoreland. The showdown will kick off in two weeks time at Assen.