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Lowes confirmed as final title fighter
10 September 2012
WFR Honda's Alex Lowes grabbed the final Showdown place in the MCE British Superbike Championship with two top six finishes at Donington.
Lowes had been under pressure coming into the ninth round of the series from Ian Lowry, Noriyuki Haga and his team-mate James Westmoreland, but prevailed at the Leicestershire circuit to earn the right to challenge for the British crown proper at the final three rounds.
Lowes and Westmoreland were locked in battle in race one in fourth and fifth places respectively before the red flags came out when Alastair Seeley's Suzuki dumped oil on the circuit.
Lowry had crashed out, while fellow contenders Haga and Bridewell were both behind the WFR pair at the time.
The pair made poor starts in the restarted seven-lap sprint, but battled their way up to fifth and sixth places, with Lowes holding station of his team-mate.
As they swooped past Stuart Easton they came within a whisker of bashing fairings, but undaunted the Honda riders continued to swap places on the final two laps.
Westmoreland had that little bit more in hand as he took fifth with Lowes right behind.
In race two, Westmoreland required a race win to overhaul Lowes for the coveted final spot in the Showdown, with only Lowry in with a realistic chance of spoiling the WFR party.
However, Lowry had a mountain to climb after being forced to start from the back of the grid following his race one crash and a less ferocious scrap between Lowes and Westmoreland ensued.
They again finished fifth and sixth, with Lowes turning the tables on his fellow WFR rider from race one.
Lowes will now head into the opening Showdown round at Assen in two weeks' time poised to battle for the British title with Tommy Hill, Josh Brookes, Shane Byrne, Michael Laverty and Tommy Bridewell.
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