Superbikes - Monza WSBK: Lowes storms to Supersport victory

Yakhnich Motorsport’s Sam Lowes claimed another World Supersport win, as he held off charges from three other riders to come across the finishing line in first, in an epic ten lap dash.

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Superbikes - Monza WSBK: Lowes storms to Supersport victory
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Monza WSBK: Lowes storms to Supersport victory

The race was delayed until after the second World Supersport race, because of red flags due to numerous crashes, but this did not seem to faze Lowes as he battled his way to the top of the podium. But it was not an easy win for the Derby rider as he found himself in fourth position, after lap one. MAHI Racing Team India’s Kenan Sofuoglu led from the start, followed by Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres rider Florian Marino and Pata Honda’s Lorenzo Zanetti.

But Lowes did make the most from a mistake from Zanetti, as the Italian found himself going wide, moving Lowes to third, and then Marino, who was standing in for the injured David Salom, on lap three went wide on the home straight, elevating Lowes to second on lap three. But Marino and Zanetti were not the only rider’s to make a mistake, Sofuoglu crashed at Lesmo 2 while in the lead, resulting in Lowes leading from lap four.

But Lowes was not able to retain the lead for long. On the start of lap seven, Marino managed to get enough speed on his Kawasaki to overtake Lowes on the straight. But for the Lincolnshire rider the battle to hold on to a podium spot took a turn for the worse when on the penultimate lap he was overtaken by Zanetti, Marino and Puccetti Racing’s Riccardo Russo going into the opening chicane. Lowes was obviously not going to give up and on the final lap out braked all three riders at Variante Della Roggia to take the lead and storm to his second consecutive World Supersport win.

Marino had to contend with the second step on the podium, followed closely by Zanetti, and Russo. Scottish rider, Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini’s Kev Coghlan crossed the line in a respectable fifth place. The Perthshire lad started from eighth on the grid, and during the fourth lap was battling with the leading pack of Zanetti and Russo, but could not compete with the top four riders, and finished a second off Russo’s race pace.

ParkinGo MV Agusta Corse rider Christian Iddon ended the ten lap race in thirteenth, after narrowly loosing out on the battle for twelfth with Suriano Racing’s Matthew Scholtz. The two riders were fighting each other for most of the race, with the South African eventually making it out on top. Rivamoto’s Jack Kennedy did start off strongly but with only three laps remaining crashed his Honda at Parabolica, which brought an abrupt end to his Supersport race.

Earlier in the day the race was stopped and red-flagged not once, but three times, causing disruption, and eventually after being delayed the race was moved in the schedule to re-start behind the final World Superbike race of the day.

The first red flag came out when the top four riders crashed on some oil, which was spilt on the track when Pata by Martini rider Massimo Roccoli crashed out on lap two on the second chicane, and he bike leaked oil on the circuit. Sofuoglu was leading from Marino, Lowes and Zanetti, and all four competitors crashed out. As the incident was not the fault of the riders who fell, they were all allowed to re-start for a second time.

The riders went out again to complete the full sixteen laps of the track, but again after only two laps, wild-card VFT Racing’s Alessia Politia crashed on the exit of Ascari, and her Yamaha subsequently went up in flames, ending her time at the Monza circuit. There was also damage to the air-fence and that had to be fixed, and the red flag appeared, whilst Marino was leading the charge, but all of the riders had to make their way back to the pits and prepare themselves to set out once again.

The third red flag re-appeared after the first lap on the rider’s third outing on the Monza track. This time bikes collided going into the first chicane, involving both Pata Honda team-mates, Zanetti and Michael Van der Mark. The latter did not make it out for the final race after injuring his foot in the crash.

It was more frustrating for the British riders involved, as they managed to come away from the crash unscathed, and avoided colliding with the other bikes. Coghlan came out on top and leading the race, and was closely followed by Lowes, with Iddon in fourth. But no sooner as they started to pull away the red flag’s appeared once again, with what must have felt like déjà vu for the racers out on the Italian circuit.

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