Posted: 08 Jul 2013
The sun was shining upon Snetterton this weekend for the fifth round of the British Superbike Championship and as always, the domestic series did not disappoint. An incredibly close qualifying session saw Lincolnshire’s Alex Lowes take pole position from Shane Byrne, Josh Brookes and a resurgent Ryuichi Kiyonari.
After winning six out of the eight races prior to heading to the Norfolk circuit, reigning Champion, Shane Byrne had started to become a dominant force in 2013. As the riders went out on their out lap for the first race of the day, Byrne entered the pits for a last-minute change to a tyre compound he admitted having not used in over a year. This, coupled with the sheer pace of Lowes saw the Samsung Honda rider claim his third race win of the season from Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes, who had lost ground in a safety car period triggered by the blowing up of Tommy Bridewell’s Batham’s Honda. Byrne – in what he described as an awful race – crossed the line a mere four-hundredths behind Brookes. Ellison finished fourth with Kiyonari and Westmoreland rounding out the top six.
The safety car also made an early appearance in race two as a high-side from Jon Kirkham knocked Robbin Harms from his Honda which subsequently set alight. Both riders OK, the race continued with a happier Byrne taking the lead. Brookes was looking threatening close behind the Rapid Solicitor’s Kawasaki, so close in fact a slight error from the Australian saw him run on after nearly tagging the race leader. This left Lowes to challenge Byrne for the win, although after stalking him for the last two laps he couldn’t quite make a move and opted to settle for second and those all-important podium credits. Ryuichi Kiyonari took fourth from Buildbase BMW’s James Westmoreland. Chris Walker was sixth from Josh Waters and Dan Linfoot, while James Ellison crossed the line in ninth after struggling with gearing issues throughout the race. MotoRapido Ducati’s Matteo Biaocco took a career best result as he rounded out the top ten.
Byrne now leads the championship from Lowes by thirty two points ahead of the next round at Brands Hatch.