29 August 2012
Bridewell heads up eight-way Showdown battle
Tommy Bridewell, Alex Lowes, Ian Lowry, Noriyuki Haga, James Westmoreland, Chris Walker, Alastair Seeley and Stuart Easton go head-to-head for the last two remaining Title Showdown spots at Donington Park.
As many as eight riders are still mathematically capable of progressing through to the 2012 MCE British Superbike Championship 'Title Showdown' after a potentially pivotal Cadwell Park round.
As it stands, two spots are still up for grabs after Michael Laverty confirmed his place, though solid ninth and fifth place finishes for Supersonic BMW's Tommy Bridewell, who currently holds down fifth overall, means he has a handy 23 points in hand over the man in seventh place.
“We struggled all weekend with the bike set-up and qualified 17th which obviously wasn't what we wanted,” Bridewell, who is yet to achieve a podium, said. “We pulled through the pack in race one really strong and finished ninth, which was good and fifth position in race two is really good for the points and the championship so overall I can say - job done."
If Bridewell, who has held down a top six spot for much of the season, appears relatively safe, then it remains all to play for in sixth place.
Currently, momentum seems to be with Alex Lowes, who ascended from ninth to sixth at Cadwell Park thanks to his first-ever BSB podium finish, the WFR Honda rider's form having snowballed in recent rounds to lift him to a new peak.
However, Ian Lowry remains well placed just six points adrift, the Padgetts Honda rider no doubt hoping he can replicate the form that saw him win a race at Thruxton earlier this year, rather than the handful of DNFs that have hurt his chances in recent rounds.
Similarly, Noriyuki Haga cannot be discounted as a big threat, the Japanese rider forced to sit out Cadwell Park due to a broken collarbone. However, Haga knows Donington Park well from his time in the World Superbike Championship and having won races at the top level with an injured collarbone in the past (Nurburgring 2008), provided he can get back on the bike, the 12 point margin to Lowes doesn't look so insurmountable.
Further back, should three or more of those riders suffer a disastrous weekend at Donington Park, James Westmoreland and Chris Walker are poised in eighth and ninth overall, the pair 21 and 25 points off Lowes respectively.
Indeed, with 50 points up for grabs, even Alastair Seeley and Stuart Easton (30 points and 49 points behind Lowes) are still in with a very slim chance to reaching the top six, though both riders conceded their challenges probably came to an end at Cadwell Park.
2012 MCE British Superbike Championship standings
1. Tommy Hill Swan Yamaha 316 points
2. Josh Brookes Tyco Suzuki 276
3. Shane Byrne Rapid PBM Kawasaki 255
4. Michael Laverty Samsung Honda 204
5. Tommy Bridewell Supersonic BMW 142
6. Alex Lowes WFR Honda 125
7. Ian Lowry Padgetts Honda 119
8. Noriyuki Haga Swan Yamaha 113
9. James Westmoreland WFR Honda 104
10. Chris Walker Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki 100
11. Alastair Seeley Tyco Suzuki 95
12. Stuart Easton Rapid PBM Kawasaki 76
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