Lowes endures mixed weekend after crash but secures Showdown place at Oulton Park

Alex Lowes leads race one at Oulton Park. Photo: John Mushet
Alex Lowes leads race one at Oulton Park. Photo: John Mushet

Samsung Honda’s Alex Lowes has secured his position in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Showdown following a double podium finish at the Oulton Park triple-header this weekend, while teammate Ryuichi Kiyonari and Supersport rider Jason O’Halloran also shared podium success.

With three races over the weekend Louth-based Samsung Honda superbike team made the trip to the 2.9 mile Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire.

In the opening race of the weekend, pole-sitter Lowes claimed a hard fought third place after a race-long battle with James Ellison and Shane Byrne. Kiyonari had an equally tough battle on his hands after qualifying 17th, but a determined race saw him carve his way up the order to finish sixth.

Race two saw Lowes pushing for the podium once again, closely pursued by team-mate Kiyonari.

On the final lap however, Lowes lost the front of his bike on the exit of Lodge and crashed out of third place, handing the podium to Kiyonari, who claimed his fourth podium finish of the season.

In the final race of the day, Lowes was fired up to make amends. He kept his cool despite a safety car period and claimed another third place, securing his position in the Showdown.

Kiyonari had been in the leading pack until a move by Tommy Bridewell caused him to run on at Hizzys chicane, dropping him to the back of the pack. After a string of consistent laps and overtakes, he moved back up to tenth in the closing stages.

In the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Jason O’Halloran celebrated his best weekend of the season.

After securing a fourth place in the Sprint race, he then went on to better his performance in the Feature race with a hard-fought third place to claim his first podium finish of the season for Samsung Honda.

Lowes said: “It’s been a hard weekend, probably the hardest of the year – we have stood still since we raced here back in May and the rest have got a bit better and I’m not as competitive as I want to be.

“I’ve given everything in these races and really do not have a lot to show for it.

“Even so I’ve qualified for the Showdown and I enjoyed that last race and hope that it is a sign of things to come when we get into the actual Showdown.”

Teammate Ryuichi Kiyonari added: “I was very happy with my podium finish but a little disappointed with my pace. I made a reasonable start in the last race but Tommy Bridewell made a move on me at the chicane that was a little bit tight and I didn’t want to crash, so I ran on.

“I didn’t want to incur a penalty so I waited to rejoin and then did a lot of passing to comeback into tenth place.”