BSB » 23 September 2013
Assen BSB: Lowes ‘sorry’, Byrne ‘we’re still cool’
Alex Lowes and Shane Byrne play down any potential rift in their friendship following the collision that saw the former excluded and the latter nursing bruises...
Shane Byrne insists he is 'still cool' with Alex Lowes following the controversial collision that left him nursing bruises and prompted his British Superbike Championship rival to be disqualified from the second race at Assen.
The two riders tangled on lap four of the second race around the Dutch venue when Lowes made an ill-fated attempted for the lead around the high-speed Hoge Heidge left-hander, the same spot where he had passed for the win in the opening encounter.
However, on this occasion, Lowes would collect the rear of Byrne's Kawasaki, sending man and machine barrelling into the gravel trap.
Going on to win the race, though Lowes was apologetic about the unintentional contact with Byrne, he maintained that it was merely a racing incident. However, race stewards wouldn't agree and after lengthy deliberation elected to exclude him from the results.
With both riders taking to their respective Twitter accounts following the decision, Lowes apologised again for the accident, saying:
“We all make mistakes, sorry @67Shakey but also Thank you for race 1 absolutely loved it mate. Glad you're ok and can't wait for Silv (sic).”
Byrne, meanwhile, has played down any potential rift with his friend, declaring that they are 'still cool' as they head into the final two rounds split by just a point in the Kawasaki rider's favour.
“Thanks so much for all the tweets guys & girls, I'm ok - as ok as you can be jumping off at 270 kmh! Just FYI @alexlowes22 and I are still cool, we didn't decide the outcome of the result, it was left to the officials whose job it is to decide with us and our teams present so please no more about it. It's happened, the outcome's sorted, now I have to get fixed to be stronger at Silverstone. (sic)
Lowes and Byrne have embarked on a friendly rivalry in the build-up to the critical three-round 'Title Showdown', with both riders repeatedly praising one another for their skill in battling one another without overt aggression.
Their failure to score in race two essentially keeps the Title Showdown finely poised with three rounds remaining, with Byrne leading by a single point. In addition, James Ellison – who duly inherited the second race win – is involved 21 points behind, while Josh Brookes is 24 points adrift.
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