Lowes had a great start, followed by reigning champ Byrne and Tyco Suzuki’s Josh Brookes. The Australian was overtaken by Ellison to end the race six seconds behind the leasing trio, and failed to come away from race one with any podium credits. But it was good news for Ellison, as he has now secured his place in the Showdown.
On lap one Lowes dominated, but the same could not be said for James Westmoreland, as the pole setter fell outside the top five, but the Hull rider was able to pull back some great lap times to end the race in fifth, followed by team-mate Jon Kirkham.
But still only four points separate the two riders, with the taller of the two still leading the way into the Showdown. But Westmoreland did clock the fastest lap, and set a new Superbike evolution lap time in the process of 1’29.815, meaning he will start from pole for the second time today.
By lap ten the trio of Lowes, Byrne and Ellison pulled away from Brookes and the Suzuki rider had quite a lonely finish. Halsall Racing’s Tommy Bridewell was in fifth place and was holding off the impending attack from Westmoreland.
The Devizes swearbox looked like he was pulling away from the Yorkshire lad, but a technical problem going into the Foggy Esses meant his race was over due to an engine problem and he swiftly retired to the pits on lap fourteen.
On the final lap Byrne attempted to overtake Lowes at the Melbourne Hairpin, but to no avail and Lowes crossed the finishing line in first. Padgett’s Jakub Smrz, Tyco Suzuki’s PJ Jacobsen and Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s Barry Burrell rounded off the top 10.
Samsung Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari had a tough race, and after ten laps slipped back and was outside the points in seventeenth. But on the penultimate lap he got the better of GB moto’s Dan Linfoot, Bathams Honda’s Michael Rutter and Halsall Racing’s Lee Costello to end the race in thirteenth.
Bridewell was not the only rider to experience technical problems, Tsingtao WKbikes Performance rider Howie Mainwaring Smart, Two Wheel Racing’s Jenny Tinmouth and Rapido Sport Racing’s Matteo Baiocco all retired to the pits.
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