Alex Lowes secured a win and a second place as he kept up the pressure on his British Superbike Championship rivals at Snetterton on Sunday.
Louth’s Samsung Honda team found success at the 2.99 mile Snetterton circuit in Norfolk with Lowes’ teammate Ryuichi Kiyonari picking up a solid fourth and fifth as his resurgent form continued.
In Saturday’s qualifying in glorious conditions Lowes just pipped his nearest championship rival reigning champion Shane Byrne for pole postion. Kiyo looked impressive in fifth place.
In race one on Sunday Lowes was pushing hard to edge out a lead in the blistering heat of Snetterton as Brookes fought to stay within striking distance for Tyco Suzuki, however over the closing laps the Honda rider had the edge to claim his second win of the season from the Australian.
Brookes had in turn come under pressure from a disgruntled Byrne and as the pair crossed the line for the final time side-by-side the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki narrowly missed out and was forced to settle for third with Kiyo in fourth.
In the second race it was again the same three riders battling for the podium spots. Byrne went in front from the start with Brookes and Lowes following but near the end Brookes made a mistake which let in Lowes who followed Byrne to finish in second spot with Kiyo finishing in fourth place.
Lowes left Snetterton with his best result of the season and now trails Byrne by 32 points in the championship.
Afterwards he said: “It would have been nice to have done the double; I pushed as hard as I could but couldn’t take my normal lines for some reason and when I closed in on Shakey I nearly hit him twice.
“My bike was fantastic but I couldn’t get close enough to make the move. I really enjoyed the race and after a pretty terrible start in the second one I felt good sitting behind Shakey.
“I learned a lot from him over the last five laps but he didn’t make any mistakes and rode really well. I pushed as hard as I could and I can’t complain with these two podiums.”
In the 600 Supersport championship Samsung Honda’s Australian rider Jason O’Halloran had a mixed weekend. Qualifying in a superb fourth spot for the Saturday’s 10 lap sprint race he finished in fifth.
In the Sunday race on lap three his belly pan on his Honda machine came off so he was black flagged as this is a safety issue so he had to retire from the race.
It was all the more disappointing as he was with the leading trio of riders at the time and looking in a strong position.