Double podium for Alex Lowes as Kiyonari endures ‘difficult weekend’

Shane Byrne celebrates his second race win ahead of Samsung Honda's Alex Lowes and James Ellison of Milwaukee Yamaha. Photo: www.britishsuperbike.com
Shane Byrne celebrates his second race win ahead of Samsung Honda's Alex Lowes and James Ellison of Milwaukee Yamaha. Photo: www.britishsuperbike.com

Samsung Honda’s Alex Lowes secured a second double podium finish for the second weekend in a row at British Superbike Championship at Thruxton on Sunday.

Lowes secured a third and second place in the two races but his teammate Ryuichi Kiyonari toiled again, finishing 17th in race one and crashing out in race two.

Louth’s Peter Hickman, racing for GB Moto Honda, picked up two more points finishes after finishes of 10th and 11th place.

Race one was red flagged due to a crash between Bridewell and Harris on lap 13 so the riders completed the race in their current positions, with Lowes in third behind Shane Byrne and Josh Brookes having started from pole.

The win meant Shane Byrne became the most successful rider ever in the British Superbike Championship as he completed a winning double at Thruxton to take his career victory tally to 44, one more than rival triple title winner Ryuichi Kiyonari.

Byrne made a flying start in an incident-packed second race, which included two Safety Car interventions by the Nissan GT-R, the first of which came after Kiyonari crashed out on the opening lap, and then again as Lee Costello tumbled.

The defending champion was leading as the race was stopped after an incident at the chicane involving Harris and Bridewell.

“I pushed until the end of the first race; I knew it was going to be difficult,” said Lowes afterwards.

“I had a good start to try and get away and then we had a close race right until the end. I was disappointed to be at the back of the three of us.

“It was hard work; the front was sliding, the rear was sliding, but it was great fun. We made a few changes for the second race and they were good. It has been a good weekend and I can’t wait for Oulton Park.”

Teammate Kiyonari admitted his disappointment at another poor result.

“I’m very disappointed – this has been a very difficult weekend,” he said.

“We didn’t have much practice and like at Brands Hatch I had problems which we tried to improve.

“The first race was my mistake, not the bike, and then in the second race I crashed. I highsided, tried to catch it, but went down.

“Now we have to improve in the next round at Oulton Park – that is not an easy track but we’ll try very hard.”

In the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Samsung Honda’s Jason O’Halloran scored two top-ten finishes with a sixth and seventh place.

The next round of the superbikes is over the May Day weekend of May 4-6.