Round 10 - TT Circuit Assen - MCE Insurance British Superbikes

MCE Insurance

Round 10 of MCE BSB saw the riders and teams jump on ferries and enter Europe for the exciting first round of the showdown at the prestigious TT Circuit Assen. This was the second time the Dutch circuit has been used for MCE BSB and the locals certainly lapped up the chance to see the likes of Shane 'Shakey' Byrne, Alex Lowes, James Ellison, Josh Brookes, Ryuichi Kiyonari and James Westmoreland battle it out for the title. Being the first round of the Showdown the title fighters all knew they were now in the most important part of their season and that every point from here on in counts towards their chance at lifting the championship trophy. The weekend did not disappoint, here's the story through my visor.


Q1 saw the usual collection of riders head out first led by Josh Brookes, Shakey was last out. Initially and much like we have seen all season Lowes, on his Samsung Honda led the times followed by Shakey. Title fighters Ellison and Brookes were next followed by Jakub Smrz who was having a great weekend on the Padgetts Honda, behind them was newly hired guns Bridewell on the Milwaukee Yamaha and Nori Haga on the Rapid's Solicitors Kawasaki. Other title fighters Kiyo and Westmoreland were down the times in 9th and 10th. The riders who didn't make it into Q2 were Chris Walker (unusually, his bike was not performing well) Lee Costello, Dave Johnson (who was standing in for Howie Mainwairing on the Tsingtao Racing Kawasaki because he broke his collarbone in free practice) Aaron Zanotti and Jenny Tinmouth. Q2 was much the same as Q1 for times apart from PJ Jacobsen who was going really well in Q1, but was unable to get out in Q2 due to his bike being in bits. Robbin Harms who was returning from injury crashed out ending his session, luckily he didn't do any more damage to his wrist. The drops from Q2 were PJ Jacobsen (who didn't make it out) Danny De Boer (Dutch Champion riding for the weekend for Bathams Honda), Pete Hickman, Nori Haga, Barry Burrell, Matteo Baiocco, Martin Jessopp and Robbin Harms. Q3 saw all the title fighters battling for the top places on the grid. It was a grid with only 3 riders a breast so getting a top three spot was extra important! Alex Lowes was quickest followed by Shakey, Bridewell, Ellison, Smrz, Brookes, Kiyo, Westmoreland, Linfoot and Kirkham.

Race 1

Race 1 got underway with Lowes in the lead into turn 1, Ellison had moved in behind him from the second row, Shakey lay in third and Josh Brookes on the Tyco Suzuki had moved up from 6th on the grid into 4th. Before long Ellison on the Milwaukee Yamaha which is suited to Assen was in the lead, Alex and Shakey began to battle behind for 2nd. What a battle it was, they swapped positions 5 times in 3 corners! Brookes in 4th was then mugged by Nori Haga and also Tommy Bridewell who followed the World Superbike legend through on the Australian. At this point in the race the other title fighter Kiyo and Westy were back in 9th and 10th, not good for their title chances. Unusually for the GBmoto Honda boys Dan Linfoot had to pull into the pits with a technical problem. Ellison was starting to get a bit of a gap over Shakey and Alex who were still battling for 2nd. Brookes then made a move on Haga moving into 5th, Jakub Smrz on the Padgetts Honda took advantage as the Japenese rider ran wide and also passed him. Back down the order PJ Jacobsen who had problems in qualifying meaning he had to start from 18th had done a fantastic job of moving up, he sat at the front of the third pack in 9th. Chris 'the stalker' Walker then had to pull in with a technical problem, real shame for the MCE BSB legend, his season has been dogged by these sorts of problems and probably cost him his showdown place. Shakey moved back past Alex and into 2nd, he started to make an attack on Ellison. Brookes and Haga were now having a battle for 5th leaving Smrz behind. For struggling title fighters Kiyo and Westy it was all bad news, Westy had been pushed out of the top ten by Barry Burrell on the Quattri Plant Kawasaki and Kiyo was going backwards and sat in 14th. Then in lap 12 it was disaster for James Ellison, his bike died on him and he rolled off into the gravel, he hung his head knowing he'd just lost out on 25 championship points. Shakey now took the lead followed closely by Alex. Brookes then began to gap Haga and Smrz who were battling for 5th. It all came down to the last lap, Shakey and Alex swapped places too many times to count with Lowes just sneaking the lead and the win coming out of the final corner.

Race 1 Results

  1. Alex LOWES - Samsung Honda
  2. Shane BYRNE - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
  3. Tommy BRIDEWELL - Milwaukee Yamaha
  4. Josh BROOKES - Tyco Suzuki
  5. Nori HAGA - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
  6. Jakub SMRZ - Padgetts Honda
  7. PJ JACOBSEN - Tyco Suzuki
  8. James WESTMORELAND - Buildbase BMW
  9. Jon KIRKHAM - Buildbase BMW
  10. Barry BURRELL - Quattro Plant Kawasaki

Race 2

It was all to play for in race 2 and the riders really pushed their limits. Shakey got a great start and led from the front followed by Alex, Haga, Ellison, Bridewell, PJ, Brookes, Smrz, Linfoot and Kiyo. Other title fighter Westy was down in 14th. Within a few laps it was bad news for Smrz, after performing so well in race 1 he sadly had to pull in because of bike trouble. Before long Alex was past Shakey, there was nothing between the front 5. Then it all started to fall apart, Shakey moved back past Alex and took the lead. Ellison also made a move on Haga going past him for 3rd, Bridewell tried to follow him through but went in too hot loosing control. His bike slid out from under him taking Haga out in the process. Then within seconds Alex made a similar move on Shakey but didn't have the room to get past and hit the reigning champ taking him out. Shakey went flying into the gravel and was taken off to the medical centre. The Safety car came out after the incidents and the riders now lined up, Ellison, PJ, Brookes, Lowes and Kiyo. Lap 7 and the safety car returned in and the boys were back up to full pace. Within a couple of corners Alex had swept past both Tyco Suzukis and moved into 2nd. The Shakey/Lowes incident was being investigated by the race directors with the potential of Lowes getting back flagged or being given a ride through penalty. Brookes made a pass on PJ making it look easy and then out of no where lost grip and was sent into the gravel, not the best weekend for the outspoken Australian. Robbin Harms who always rides hard crashed out yet again at this point much to his team Doobson Hondas dismay. It's been an expensive season for them. Kiyo who always monopolises when people crash out was battling with Kirkham for 4th. Lowes really had the blinkers on and was making a charge at Ellison who had to ease up because his tyres were going off; he made up a second in one lap. At this point it was decided that the Shakey/Lowes incident would be looked at post race and a decision made then, provisional podiums for all. On lap 17 Alex did eventually catch Ellison and pass him. PJ was still in third and Kiyo in 4th. The line up stayed as is for the rest of the race and Alex took the win.

But it didn't stay that way, the outcome of the investigation found Alex guilty and he was excluded from the race being stripped of his podium and points.

Race 2 Results

  1. James ELLISON - Milwaukee Yamaha
  2. PJ JACOBSEN - Tyco Suzuki
  3. Ryuichi KIYONARI - Samsung Honda
  4. Jon KIRKHAM - Buildbase BMW
  5. James WESTMORELAND - Buildbase BMW
  6. Chris WALKER - Quattro Plant Kawasaki
  7. Peter HICKMAN - GBmoto Racing Honda
  8. Danny DE BOER - Bathams Honda
  9. Dan LINFOOT - GBmoto Racing Honda
  10. Barry BURRELL - Quattro Plant Kawasaki

Club MCE members who made the trip had a great couple of days at the TT Circuit Assen enjoying all sorts of benefits and experiences including, Official Pit Crew with Halsall Racing, grid walks, VIP hospitality (flown in and out on a private jet!), Pillion Laps and Safety car laps to name a few. Some lucky Club members got to make use of the MCE Superview, watching the racing from pit wall. 'Hang out with a rider' took place at the Club MCE Superview with James Westmoreland whilst other members took part in 4 laps around the circuit behind Big Ed. A fantastic weekend had by all!

Next round we head for Silverstone for round 2 of the showdown! Who knows what drama it will bring! It all kicks off on the 4th of October. Keep up to date with Big Ed's Facebook for all the live updates, news and gossip around the paddock.

Showdown Standings

  1. 67 Shane BYRNE - Rapid Soliticitors Kawasaki - 559
  2. 22 Alex LOWES - Samsung Honda - 558
  3. 77 James ELLISON - Milwaukee Yamaha - 538
  4. 2 Josh BROOKES - Tyco Suzuki - 535
  5. 23 Ryuichi KIYONARI - Samsung Honda - 522
  6. 27 James WESTMORELAND- Buildbase BMW - 519

For full race results visit the MCE BSB Website

26.09.13 - Big Ed

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