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WSS Donington: Lowes runs away with Donington victory
26 May 2013 CLICK HERE
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Sam Lowes has extended his lead in the World Supersport Championship standings to 30 points with an utterly dominant performance on home ground at Donington Park.
The Briton has been in imperious form throughout the weekend and, having smashed the lap record on five occasions during qualifying, was the odds-on favourite to repeat victory twelve months after claiming a maiden WSS success in front of his home fans.
And so it proved, Lowes's only issue coming when Florian Marino got the jump at the start and led for much of the first lap. However, once Lowes was past at the Melbourne hairpin, he would immediately break the race lap record before methodically extending his lead to the chequered flag.
In the end, Lowes would cross the line 11 seconds ahead, a third win of the season that sees him move a comfortable 30 points clear of Kenan Sofuoglu in the overall standings.
Though unable to get close to Lowes's searing pace, Sofuoglu was still comfortably fast enough for second, recovering from early contact in the pack to claw back what would become a lonely runners-up position.
With Lowes and Sofuoglu circulating alone up front, attention turned to a feisty battle for the final podium spot, with several riders taking turns in the position over the course of the race.
In the end, the podium position would go the way of an inspired Roberto Rolfo, whose superb charge from 16th on the grid would see him claim third place, in turn marking a welcome return to the rostrum for the iconic MV Agusta marque.
With Rolfo breaking clear of the pack courtesy of a series of fast laps in the second-half of the race, Lorenzo Zanetti would be forced to settle for fourth place, getting the better of countryman Luca Scassa on the final lap.
Scassa, however, may find a frosty reception when he returns to the Intermoto Kawasaki garage after making contact with team-mate Marino towards the end of the race, one that would see the Frenchman crash out of sixth place with four laps remaining.
Marino's demise promoted Jack Kennedy up to a career-best sixth position, ahead of Sheridan Morais, who looked in contention for a podium for much of the race before a late error at the Esses forced him to settle for what remains a season's best seventh.
Like Rolfo, Go Eleven Kawasaki's Andrea Antonelli found his pace in the race to finish eighth from 23rd of the grid, ahead of Fabien Foret, who has subsequently ceded second in the standings to Mahi Kawasaki team-mate Sofuoglu following an anonymous run to ninth.
Glen Richards was one of several riders to find the gravel at the Esses, the Australian recovering to tenth on his wild-card outing, while Vladimir Ivanov, Gabor Talmacsi, Raffaele de Rosa, Riccardo Russo and Alex Baldolini picked up the remaining points, the latter doing so on his debut for Suriano Suzuki.
Excusing Lowes, the race would prove tougher for the British contingent with Christian Iddon crashing out on lap two from fourth when lost out in contact between himself, Sofuoglu and Zanetti at the Melbourne hairpin, while Kev Coghlan suffered an off before retiring out of a top ten position.
Michael van der Mark was another to suffer a fall, the Dutchman rejoining but failing to make it back into the points.