Ian Lowry, the forgotten man of British Superbikes in the last two years, scorched to a dramatic Man of the Meeting performance with a hat-trick of victories including the feature Sunflower Trophy race at a windswept Bishopscourt Circuit on Saturday in a one-off appearance reunited with the Relentless Suzuki by TAS team.
Taking advantage of a depleted field after injuries to Alastair Seeley, Jack Kennedy and Kirk Jamison in earlier accidents, Lowry led the 12-lap Sunflower race from start to finish, also setting the fastest lap of the day at 92.082mph to win by over 10 seconds from the Supersport machines of world Supersport competitor Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) and newcomer to Irish racing Danny Buchan, a 20-year old Londoner riding for the Gearlink Kawasaki team.
After winning the Sunflower Trophy for the second time in three years Lowry commented: “It was disappointing that Alastair wasn’t able to ride in the race, but after having a difficult season in BSB it is good for me to end the year on a high.”
Lowry had earlier apologised to Seeley for forcing him off-track and into second in the in the opening Irish Superbike race.
Kirk Jamison clinched the ISB championship despite crashing out on lap seven.
Lowry completed his hat-trick with a start to finish win in a wet second ISB race.
The first Supersport race was arguably the race of the day with Seeley, Jack Kennedy and Sam Lowes all taking turns to lead with the race reaching a dramatic conclusion.
As the three riders rounded the final bend, Kennedy attempted to ride around Lowes but was high-sided by a slower rider and crashed out in spectacular fashion with Seeley who had tried to avoid him.
Kennedy received a suspected broken collarbone while Seeley suffered a bang to the head and bruised ribs, both riders unable to take any further part in the meeting. Lowes won the race from Glenn Irwin and Keith Farmer.
Danny Buchan won the second Supersport race in wet conditions from new Irish champion Christian Elkin while in a proud day for KMR Kawasaki, team owner Ryan Farquhar saw his three machines finish 1-2-3 in both Supertwin races with Jamie Hamilton winning race one from Farquhar and ex-Grand Prix star Jeremy McWilliams, who raced through from a back row starting position.
In race two, McWilliams, who never saw the new circuit layout until the morning of the race, showed his class by winning the race from Hamilton with Farquhar forced unto the bottom step of the podium and saying, “I couldn’t be happier. It’s fantastic to have my three bikes on the podium in both races. Maybe I can persuade Jeremy to ride at the TT for me next year.”
Nigel Percy and Robert English were the 125GP race winners while William Dunlop and Jamie Patterson shared the 250GP honours with Ben and Tom Birchall winning the first sidecar race while Tim Reeves and Ashley Hawes won race two.