Lowes takes Assen pole

By Gary Pinchin -

British Superbikes

 22 September 2012 17:49

Alex Lowes claimed an historic pole position this afternoon in preparation for Sunday’s first-ever Assen MCE Insurance British Superbike round.

Tomorrow’s two races form the first of the three-round, seven-race Showdown to decide this year’s title and Team WFR Honda rider Lowes is looking to close the 33 points gap on defending champion Tommy Hill.

Lowes said: “I knew my way around the Assen course having had two days here last year testing with the Ten Kate Honda team so it wasn’t like I had to learn the circuit in practice,” explained Lowes. “We were able to concentrate on bike set-up and I’ve been consistent each time I’ve been on the bike.

“In terms of the championship I am behind but I am going out there to enjoy it, be consistent, fast and do my best. I am up for the fight.”

Michael Laverty overcame a difficult two days of practice, to qualify second after working hard with his Samsung Honda crew to find a set-up to suit the Assen circuit.

In his BSB debut, former WSB rider Jakub Smrz gave the regulars plenty to think about when he qualified third - the first-ever front row start for the Splitlath Aprilia team.

Hill completed the front row of the grid with fourth fastest time on the Swan Yamaha. Aussie Josh Brookes goes into tomorrow’s races following a double victory in the previous round but is ten points down on Hill at the start of the Showdown.

Brookes qualified fifth on a Tyco TAS Suzuki, while Shane Byrne ignored the pain of a shoulder injury to qualify seventh on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki. Brookes and Byrne were split by Italian Luca Scassa on the Padgetts Honda in sixth place..

The final rider among the six Title Fighters, Tommy Bridewell, starts from ninth place on the grid on the Supersonic BMW.

Qualifying times:

1 Alex Lowes* (WFR Honda) 1:37.390s

2 Michael Laverty* (Samsung Honda) +0.181s

3 Jakub Smrz (Splitlath Redmond Racing) +0.437s

4 Tommy Hill* (Swan Yamaha) +0.528s

5 Josh Brookes* (Tyco Suzuki) +0.705s

6 Luca Scassa (Padgetts Honda) +0.801s

7 Shane Byrne* (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.956s

8 Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +1.058s

9 Tommy Bridewell* (Supersonic BMW) +1.068s

10 Peter Hickman (Buildbase BMW) +1.311s

* = Title Fighter