Alex battles to fourth in Jerez race 1
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team highlighted their recent progress, following on from their double rostrum in Magny-Cours, as both riders were once again in the podium mix during a restarted Race 1 on Saturday at Jerez, the penultimate round of the FIM 2017 Superbike World Championship.
Alex Lowes started from the front row and rode to a superb fourth place after battling with the championship front-runners for the duration of the race. His teammate Michael van der Mark crossed the line just behind Lowes in fifth after another determined ride to further cement the Pata Yamaha Team as genuine podium contenders.
After ending Friday’s practice in fourth, Alex recorded his best qualifying result of the season on Saturday as he started from the front row in third. In the original race, he had a good start and was battling with his teammate for third when the Red Flag appeared on the first lap.
In the restarted race, the 27-year-old British rider once again battled with van der Mark during the first few corners, before taking his teammate on lap 3 for fifth and becoming involved in an excellent six-way fight for the lead.
Keeping pace with the championship leaders, Lowes rode brilliantly and after Marco Melandri retired from the lead he was promoted to fourth. Some minor issues with his Pata Yamaha R1 that meant he didn’t quite have the same confidence to catch Sykes and Davies for the runner-up position and Alex crossed the line in fourth, just 3.652s behind the race winner Jonathan Rea after a very solid ride.
This result sees Alex remaining fifth in the championship standings with 213 points and the 2013 British Superbike Champion will line up on pole position for Sunday’s Race 2.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team return to action on Sunday at the Circuito De Jerez confident they can build on their encouraging Race 1 results, with Warm Up scheduled for 9:30 am local time and Race 2 scheduled to start at 13:00 pm.
“I had a difficult start after the red flag when Michael passed me on the inside of Turn 6, we both ran wide and lost a bit of time to the lead group. Then I was struggling to get past him, but when I managed to overtake, my pace was pretty good but then I found it difficult to get into a rhythm to actually catch the leaders. From half race distance, I picked up an unusual vibration and it meant that I did not have the confidence I had in the race simulation I ran on Friday. I am certain we can improve for tomorrow and it shows how far we have come to be disappointed with fourth position and so close to the podium! I am looking forward to Race 2 as I feel I can do a better job, especially starting from pole, but I enjoyed it today and I am happy with a solid race!”