This weekend was momentous for SHARK-men with one World Champion and two British Champions crowned in France and England.
In Magny-Cours at the penultimate round of the SBK and WSS Championships, Sam Lowes was crowned World Supersport Champion. The strategy was simple, to control Kenan Sofuoglu and avoid a fall, which Lowes perfected finishing in second place behind Sofuoglu and securing the championship. Fabien Foret finished in fourth place.
Meanwhile in SBK, Tom Sykes took his championship lead to 37-points after a stunning double win. In race one Sykes headed off straight into the lead, and took a new best lap time of 1,38.345. Race one was eventually red-flagged due to a bike on fire and Sykes was declared the winner. Race two also didn’t go quite the full distance when rain halted play towards the end. Sykes was 11.091 seconds ahead in the final results and took his second win of the weekend, which was his ninth race win of 2013. Sylvain Guintoli had a good weekend finishing twice on the podium in second and third positions, and is sitting third in the overall championship.
At Silverstone, Alex Lowes took a win and a second place in the two BSB ‘Showdown’ races, sharing his success with title rival Shane Byrne. Going into the weekend Byrne lead a single point ahead of Lowes, and maintains this lead after the riders shared a win and second place each. James Westmoreland had two top-ten finishes in eighth and ninth, while Freddy Foray who is standing in for the injured Samsung Honda rider Ryuichi Kiyonari, finished 11th and 15th.
In the Motostar Energy British Motostar class Joe Francis was crowned 2013 Champion. Joe Irving finished in second place and Andy Reid third, but won the 125cc class. In the British Supersport class Ben Wilson finished fifth and fourth, and is fourth in the championship.
Another SHARK Champion was crowned in the Ducati 848 Challenge with Marty Nutt finishing in second and fourth. Darren Fry claimed fifth and third. The Superstock 1000 class saw Lee Jackson on the podium in third place – he is now fifth in the championship. Marshall Neil was sixth, Josh Elliott seventh and Dave Johnson ninth.
In the Superstock 600 class, title leader Jordan Simpkin suffered disappointment after crashing, uninjured, on the opening lap. He finished ninth in the restart and was pushed back to second place overall, just eight-points behind. Ben Godfrey finished on the podium in third place, Harry Hartley fifth, Nick Anderson sixth and Tim Hastings eighth.
It was amazing season for me – new team and new bike. I want to thank all Yakhnich Motorsport engineers, my mechanics and all team for such fantastic bike! We won qualifications and races. No doubt, our team is very strong. Thank everyone who helped me!
It is great to score a double win here and we made two small changes in the bike to race two. We are always chasing perfection. That is what we spend our lives doing. When you are on the edge all the time you have got very small changes that make a big outcome. The bike was very nice to ride today and the races went very well. When the circuit and conditions suit a bike and rider you have to take the most advantage from it. Magny Cours was generous to me, the bike and all at Kawasaki, so this was great. It was spitting with rain at the end of race two and that was difficult to manage, even though I had a big gap and not much pressure. I was sliding the rear a lot.
It was a great first race with Shakey and it was really nice after the mistake at Assen. I am pretty lucky that he wasn’t fully fit as that race could have been even more difficult so fair play to him and that is why he is champion! It was a fantastic second race and I said to Shakey afterwards again that races like that are what we live for. You obviously want to come out on top but even to finish second in that one left me with a smile on my face. We improved our pace for race two and the Samsung Honda was great; I tried to push again at the end of the race but fair play to Shakey and now we go to Brands Hatch pretty level with just one point in it. It is still all to play for!