Ian Lowry admits he was 'up against it' on his ViSK.com British Superbike Championship debut at Brands Hatch after injuring himself in an accident during free practice.

The Ulsterman required the use of crutches to get around on foot after colliding with Tom Tunstall during free practice, three days before the two races.

Qualifying down in 21st position, Lowry battled his way back into contention during the first race, overtaking several more experienced riders to eventually cross the line in 13th position and score three points.

Although electrical problems on his Relentless Suzuki kept him down in 19th position in race two, Lowry was pleased to come away from a difficult weekend with something to show for.

"I was up against it today with my injuries. I really needed to go into the season fully fit, and although I'm disappointed with the results, I'm just glad that my season wasn't ruined in Friday's incident.

"We have some positives to take away from the weekend even though the results are not what I was looking for. I need to get myself fit now for Oulton Park which is my favourite circuit."

Ex-Rizla Suzuki rider Atsushi Watanabe, meanwhile, endured a troublesome debut with the Relentless team, finishing well outside the points in both races.

"I have tried a lot of different things this weekend but I am disappointed not to have started the season with top ten finishes. We will make progress between now and Oulton Park and try to be up there in the results."

"That must be one of the toughest weekends we've ever had to deal with in British Championship," said team princeal Philip Neill, "but with limited testing time on the new GSX-R1000 Superbike and Ian's injury we must take some positives from today.

"Ian's race one performance was admirable and only for an electrical fault he could have been fighting for a top ten result in race two.

"Atsu struggled today but we have been working hard to find him a setting that he likes. His late arrival left us with limited testing time prior to Brands, but we will regroup and prepare ourselves for round two at Oulton Park at the start of May."

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