Superbike Showdown

by Mark Rowe

Michael Laverty took his debut podium of the season for Tyco BMW in the opening race of this year’s British Superbike Championship Showdown at Assen. The Ulsterman made the best of his fourth place in qualifying and overcame a late onslaught from reigning champion Shane Byrne to take a strong third placed finish on the Tyco BMW S1000RR.

A heavily delayed second race was run in mixed conditions, making it a bit of a lottery, where Laverty eventually finished ninth. Tommy Bridewell crashed out of the leading group fighting for the podium positions in race two after taking eighth place in race one in the Netherlands.

Michael Laverty said after: “I was just too cautious in that second race but the conditions were horrible. When I started to get going I got a false neutral and ran across the gravel and had to fight my way back up again. It’s not ideal but we will take the positives, especially the race one podium. In those race one conditions the Tyco BMW felt superb and with the changes we’ve made I now have a BMW Motorrad S1000RR that I feel comfortable racing. The first part was a good start to the Showdown and although I’m a bit disappointed with race two, I can go to Silverstone in the confidence that we have found the set-up we need to be competitive, even though we can still make improvements from here.”

Tommy Bridewell said: “It’s just been one of those weekends that I’d like to forget. In race one we dug out a result but in that second race I was just unlucky to get caught out as I was in the main pack fighting for a result. That’s what can happen in racing in those tricky conditions and the boys in the garage are as disappointed as I am. We still have five races left to show what we are capable of and as I said on the run up to Assen, anything less than podiums are not good enough at this stage of the year.”

And Philip Neill – Team Manager said: “For us as a team the weather was simply the winner in that second race, which is really disappointing as I firmly believe we could have enjoyed a double podium. Tommy has had a tough weekend, there’s no point trying to gloss over that, but Michael showed us a large portion of his talent this weekend. His podium was very satisfying for the whole team and proved just how our Tyco BMW S1000RR package can work. Silverstone is up next, which will give Tommy an opportunity to get his Showdown challenge back on track and it’s also a favoured venue for Michael – so we are really looking forward to going there. Thanks to all our sponsors and those who travelled to support us at Assen this weekend.”

Championship points

Josh Brookes [Yamaha] 603pts; Shane Byrne [Kawasaki] 575; James Ellison[Kawasaki] 562; Michael Laverty [Tyco BMW] 523; Tommy Bridewell [Tyco BMW] 515; Dan Linfoot [Honda] 509.

The penultimate round of this year’s British Superbike Championship will take place at Silverstone on October 2-4.


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