Lowes Wins Again To Eye Title
The 19-year-old bounced back from a heavy crash in qualifying to steadily move through the pack in the race and when race leader Graeme Gowland's Honda expired, the race was ended early and Sam was able to add another 25 points to his total. The victory means he now needs just ten points from the final two rounds to crown a fairytale season.
The Lincoln rider had been in fine form during practice and qualifying and clinched pole position but no sooner had he done so then he crashed heavily and although he was uninjured the bike was wrecked and the team had to work through the night to rebuild the machine in time for the race.
They did exactly that and so Sam lined up in pole position although a steady start saw him drop back to fourth at the completion of the opening lap. However, there was nothing between the front group but as Sam steadily got into his rhythm, he was able to inch his way forward. By half race distance, he had moved up to third and with his brother Alex setting the pace at the head of the field, he was able to overhaul championship rival James Westmoreland.
Alex then made a mistake and dropped back to fifth allowing Sam to move up to second as he pressurised new race leader Graeme Gowland but with five laps to go, Gowland's engine blew up in spectacular fashion, depositing oil which brought the race to a premature end and so the result was declared with Sam in yet another first place and Westmoreland second. His lead is now up to 40 points and he needs just a sixth place finish at the next round at Silverstone to secure the crown.
"To be so close to the title now is simply awesome especially as that was the most difficult race of the season. I managed to get pole but then seriously bent the bike with a heavy crash so I can't thank the team enough for all the work they had to do. It took me a while to get used to the bike hence being back in fourth early on but when Alex came by me, it dragged me along and got me up to the pace I needed to be running at. My speed came back and it allowed me to go with Graeme and he was riding really well so I'm sorry for his bad luck. I was covered in oil when his engine blew and it was all over my visor and the bike but his bad luck was my good luck so we'll take it! I'm really looking forward to Silverstone now and, hopefully, we can wrap up the title there."
"What a race! It was really hard for us after what had happened in qualifying so I'm just so pleased for everyone that we've come away with the win. Sam rode absolutely brilliantly, like a true professional, and kept his composure throughout. He got better with each and every lap and it's fair to say that he's got better and better with each and every race this season. It was a serious off in qualifying and the bike had to be completely rebuilt so the guys were up all night doing just that and I'm privileged to be working with such a fantastic group of guys, they're awesome and are simply the best there is. We only need a sixth place now to clinch the title, which will be like a dream come true. I'm not sure if my heart can take much more but roll on Silverstone!"
Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport Championship result (14 laps)
1 Sam Lowes (GNS Racing Honda) 20m03.072s2 James Westmoreland (Yamaha) +1.134s
3 Jack Kennedy (Yamaha) +1.576s
4 Alex Lowes (Yamaha) +4.572s
5 Jason OHalloran (Yamaha) +6.721s
6 Daniel Cooper (Triumph) +7.792s
7 Lee Johnston (Triumph) +9.144s
8 AJ Venter (Triumph) +10.007s
9 Glen Richards (Honda) +13.755s
10 Chris Martin (Kawasaki) +14.914s
Championship standings (after 10 rounds)1 Lowes (GNS Racing Honda) 196 points
2 Westmoreland 156
3 Gowland 103
4 Wilson 100
5 McConnell 99
6 Kennedy 92
Picture courtesy of Ian Hopgood (www.ianhopgoodphotography.net)