Sam Lowes scored his personal best finish so far this weekend in the World Supersport Championship at Motorland, Aragon. Starting from third on the grid the SHARK-supported rider got within 0.564 seconds of race victory. The result at the weekend is Lowes third WSS podium and has moved him into sixth place in the overall standings. Fellow SHARK-man Fabien Foret finished in seventh place after some set-up issues held him back, and Gino Rea finished just ahead in sixth position.
Meanwhile in World Superbikes Tom Sykes came home in the points in race one in fifth place. Unfortunately, Sykes crashed out in the second race after making his way up the pack into second place.
The MCE British Superbike Championship continued from Knockhill in Scotland with SHARK’s Michael Laverty landing on the podium in the second race in third position. During race one, Laverty clawed his way through the field from 12th during the opening lap to come home in fifth place. Fellow SHARK-supported, and team-mates, James Westmoreland and Loris Baz finished within the top-ten in race one in seventh and ninth places. The second race saw Westmoreland finish fifth – his highest position so far in 2011 – Baz did not finish the race after crashing out.
Alex Lowes has been confirmed as MSS Colchester Kawasaki’s newest signing, to replace the injured Stuart Easton for the rest of the season. It was a tough weekend for the young-Brit after crashing out in the first race, he then opted not to compete in the second race following his fall.
In the Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport class Ben Wilson scored two podium finishes winning the second race and taking the third spot in race one, Wilson now has 59-point lead in the championship. SHARK-supported Jesse Trayler finished in the points in sixth place in race two. In the Supersport Cup class there were more podiums for SHARK-riders; Sam Hornsey finished second in race one and won race two ahead of John Simpson who came home second.
In the 125cc championship, Kyle Ryde continued his successful 2011 campaign by winning the 15-lap race. Schoolboy Lee Jackson was in third place and looking for a podium finish when the race was red-flagged. Following a good re-start the young SHARK-rider was up to fourth in lap two when he high-sided and crashed out of the race – his first crash since 2009.
During the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 class Danny Buchan continued his 100% podium record of the 2011 season finishing on the third step of the podium. His MSS Colchester Kawasaki teammate Howie Mainwaring finished in fifth. Meanwhile other SHARK-supported riders Victor Cox and David Johnson finished eighth and ninth respectively.
Keith Farmer won his fourth Metzeler National Superstock 600 race in a row and is leading the Championship with a healthy 48-point margin. In the Harley-Davidson XR1200 Trophy SHARK’s James Webb (brother to MotoGP’s 125cc Danny Webb) scored a further podium finish, wearing SHARK in third place.
The British Superbike trucks and teams will now make their way South for the sixth round at Snetterton 1-3 July. The World Superbike Championship has a few weeks off before heading to Brno in the Czech Republic 8-10 July.
Sam Lowes – WSS: second:« I fell in warm-up and hurt my shoulder again, but it did not affect me too much in the race. After the flag it was hurting a lot, but it is not an excuse. The team did a fantastic job because in the first session I was struggling here. The bike set-up was a long way off and I did not have a good feeling, but we just worked more and more. I knew I would have to hang on in there for the first half of the race because the bike was not working mega on fresh tyres. As soon as they bedded in I knew we were in with a chance. The leaders upped the pace and I could do the times, but I just couldn’t make a pass. I’m really happy and massive thank you to the team. I am really enjoying my racing. To have a third and a second in these past two races is great. »
Fabien Foret – WSS: seventh: « This weekend has been pretty much like a nightmare, as we didn’t find the settings to suit the track or to suit my riding style. I thought we had found a solution in the warm-up but, maybe it is because of the heat this afternoon; the little change we made meant I had no feeling. I tried hard anyway, but I could not make it and my lap times were not so good. I just want to move on.”
Gino Rea – WSS: sixth: “Rubbing is racing but it was a bit annoying that a last hairpin incident lost me a place. I made a clean pass up the inside and hardly ran wide but then Tamburini used me as a berm and there was nothing I could do to get him back. It was frustrating because we could have been in the top five. Even if we were not, we should be a lot higher up; we should be on the podium. We are still coming into the races a bit blind after qualifying. We are scoring points again but I want to be closer to the front. »
Tom Sykes, SBK – race one: fifth, race two: DNF: « We had a bit of a flipside of the coin this weekend compared to Misano. One good score and one fall. There is no pressure from anyone, I am just trying hard and pushing on to get the best results I can. I just overloaded the front in race two, trying to keep up with Michel Fabrizio, who was running an ‘A’ rear tyre, and I was on a ‘B’. It is strange, because we ran the ‘B’ tyre in practice and it was so strong. We did a 15-lap run on it and on my last lap I was doing 2.’00.1 lap times. I knew at that time I could run 1’59s if I needed to. Yet, when we came to the race today, we were struggling with the tyres moving a lot in the same conditions. We are scratching our heads a little bit, but we are testing tomorrow and we have a lot of things to test. Onwards and upwards, like always, and roll on Brno; I love that track! »
Michael Laverty – BSB: race one: fifth, race two: third: « I made life difficult for myself in the first race that’s for sure with qualifying in eleventh place. I don’t know where I was at the end of the first lap as it was quite hectic and I was over the kerb at turn one and that dropped me down the order and I had to fight back. I had a few minor brake issues at the start but it disappeared and I was able to push on. I was happy to be back on the podium in the second race. I was quite strong towards the end but Shakey had that little bit extra on me in the end. I didn’t want to make a stupid mistake and crash out as the points and podium credits are so important. It is great to have a double Swan Yamaha podium in that second race and run close to lap record pace. »
Alex Lowes – BSB: race one: DNF, race two: DNS: “Qualifying was disappointing, I had a rubbish superpole and crashed in Q2 which left me 17thon the grid but the Ninja ZX-10R felt really good in practice so I was looking forward to a dry race day. Knockhill is a tight circuit and unfortunately I hit the back of another rider in the first lap at the hairpin trying to make up positions, putting me out of the first race. I hit my head quite hard in the accident and the team decided that as we would be starting down the grid it was best to sit out the race for safety reasons. I’m obviously disappointed but it was the best thing to do. I have a test on the BSB bike scheduled before Snetterton so I’m hoping to get to grips with the Kawasaki and give the team the results it deserves at the next round.”
Danny Buchan – BSS1000: third: « I’ve always loved Knockhill and as my grandparents are Scottish I guess it’s my second home race – hence the tartan crash helmet. I was really confident for the race having qualified pole but Tristan got a great start and I couldn’t go with him as our set-up wasn’t perfect. When Richard overtook I stayed with him but the red flag came out just as I was planning a move in the last few laps, which was really disappointing as I felt I could have got second. I may have lost the championship lead but I have retained my 100% podium record, which I am really pleased with.”
Howie Mainwaring – BSS1000: fifth: “I’m happy to have secured more championship points after a slightly disappointing qualifying but I felt I could have been on the podium today. The lack of dry track time was a problem and despite a great start I couldn’t stay with the leaders and after a big moment on the start/finish straight I lost another place to Adam Jenkinson. Unfortunately the red flag came out soon afterwards which meant I couldn’t build up a challenge and Adam was really strong on the brakes. All in all it was a good race and I’m now looking forward to Snetterton.”