Alex closes Magny-Cours weekend with a podium finish
The Pata Yamaha team signed off their Magny-Cours weekend in style with a double podium in WorldSBK Race 2 this afternoon. Michael van der Mark finished second, having disputed the lead with eventual winner Jonathan Rea for the entire race, while Alex Lowes recovered strongly from time lost avoiding a second lap crash to finish third.
The 26-year-old Dutchman rider got an equally good start from the front row of the grid in Race 2 and, together with Rea, pulled away from the rest of the field when Razgatlioglu crashed out of third place and the pursuing pack lost time taking evasive action. It looked like it was going to be a race long, two-way battle for the win, as van der Mark and Rea took turns to lead but Lowes, who’d been caught behind the second lap crash, was on a lone charge and closing fast.
The 29-year-old Briton eventually caught the leading duo at half race distance, but having used his tyres to close the gap, wasn’t able to then mount a challenge for the win. The Kawasaki rider made his move with nine laps remaining, passing the Yamaha for the lead and then pushing to the limit to gain an advantage of half a second. Van der Mark, who was also on the limit, could only maintain and not close the gap and he took the chequered flag in second place, with teammate Lowes following him across the line in third to conclude a successful day for the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK team.
The Magny-Cours weekend brings to a close the European season and the Yamaha WorldSBK teams will now head overseas for the final two races of 2019 in Argentina and Qatar.
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P6 and P3 – Championship P3 – 279 Points
“I didn’t get the best of starts this afternoon, and then I was behind the crash involving Toprak and Alvaro, which left me with a big gap to close to Michael and Johnny. I think I was a couple of seconds behind, but my pace was really good, and I’d managed to catch the pair of them by midrace distance. To get to them I’d worked the front tyre really hard and, with around five laps to go, I was struggling a bit and wasn’t able to join the fight. The lack of dry track time this weekend means I’ve not really found the right set up and I’ve struggled a little, so it’s good to be leaving with three solid results and sharing the podium with Michael today was good for us, good for the team and a great way to end the weekend here in France.”