PARKALGAR HONDA’S Sam Lowes took a hard-fought victory in the Buildbase Mallory Park Race of the Year, scoring a new Supersport lap record at the same time in very hot and slippery track conditions.The first attempt at the race was red-flagged on the second lap when pole-sitter John Ingram on a BMW crashed out on the Stebbe Straight, taking out Triumph’s Christian Iddon in the process. Both riders were fine and the race re-started without them over 18-laps.
It was Bogdanka PTR Honda’s James Ellison who made a quick getaway on the restart and he pulled out a gap on the chasing pack. Lowes was fourth on the opening lap but quickly got past the riders in front and set about hunting down Ellison, making a tough overtake into the hairpin on his Supersport machine.
Ellison looked to come straight back on his PTR stable mate but despite keeping the pressure on for the whole race, it was Lowes who took the win by 2.4seconds. Billy McConnell on a Triumph was third, 16-seconds behind a delighted Lowes who adds his name to the coveted Race of the Year trophy alongside the likes of Crutchlow, Sykes, and Agostini.
Lowes said: “I have really enjoyed racing at Mallory Park, it has been good fun and I hope the crowd enjoyed the race. I got my head down once I got past James and knew he would push me all the way. The hot temperature meant there was very little grip so the outright lap record was always going to be difficult, but I am glad to take the Supersport lap record and my first win of the season – now it is back to the World Supersport Championship and I want to win there next.”
Ellison said: “My Superstock Bogdanka PTR Honda was very quick but it wasn’t stopping the way I wanted it to and was pushing wide into the corners. I adjusted my riding and it got better but Sam was riding the wheels off his Parkalgar Honda and I couldn’t catch him. It’s been a good event, I’ve enjoyed it and now I have scored my first podium of the year I want to repeat that at Brno in the World Supersport Championship, this is something to build on.”
John Ward, Mallory Park General Manager said: “That was a cracking race and the tussle between Sam and James was great to watch. The Race of the Year trophy has a new very worthy name on it and Sam is not just a star of the future, he’s a star of the present.”