News 26 Aug 2010

WSBK: Ian Lowry to deputise for Vermeulen at Kawasaki

Ian Lowry will line up alongside Kawasaki Racing Team rider Tom Sykes at round 11 of the Hannspree World Superbike Championship at the Nurburgring, in Germany early next month, replacing the injured Queenslander Chris Vermeulen.

The Northern Irishman was offered a last-minute stand-in ride at Brands Hatch when the Kawasaki Racing Team competed in the MCE British Superbike Championship during the August WSBK break, the team enjoying great success when Sykes topped the podium in both of Sunday’s races and Lowry impressed with two top 10 finishes.

“I am really grateful for this opportunity to ride for the factory Kawasaki squad,” Lowry said. “It was always a dream of mine to compete in the World Superbike Championship and now this is becoming a reality.

“I enjoyed my outing at Brands Hatch and working with such a professional team, and was surprised at how comfortable I felt on the Kawasaki. I know how competitive the World Superbike Championship is and I intend to make the most of this opportunity and repay the team with two strong finishes.”

Lowry had a rocky start to 2010, replacing Neil Hodgson in the Motorpoint Yamaha team at Oulton Park earlier this year after plans to compete in the Moto2 Spanish Championship fell through at the eleventh hour.

The Kawasaki Racing Team has given the 23-year-old another opportunity to race the Ninja ZX-10R where he adapted to the machine with ease at the British event.

Lowry’s career highlights to date include a second place in British Supersport in 2007 followed by a third in 2008. The youngster made the leap to British Superbikes in 2009 and was awarded top rookie with an impressive fifth place. He has also competed and won various Irish road races including a favourite event of Paul Bird Motorsport, the 2009 Sunflower Trophy race.

Team manager Paul Bird is delighted to give Lowry the opportunity to compete on a world level.

“We’ve given Ian another opportunity to ride for us as he did a great job for the team at Brands Hatch earlier this month despite being called last minute and suffering from a chest infection,” Bird commented. “I liked the fact that Ian tried hard and put in one hundred and ten percent effort and that’s all I can ask of him coming in to the World Superbikes.

“It’s also nice to give a young UK rider a chance who has had some bad luck this season. We know he fits in to the team well and we look forward to working with him again at Nurburgring.”

Round 11 of the WSBK series will be held at the famous Nurburgring in Germany on 3-5 September.