Alex just misses out on Jerez race 2 podium
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team rounded off a superb weekend in Jerez by completing another double top-six finish in a dramatic restarted Race 2, on a gloriously sunny Sunday at the penultimate round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship.
Alex Lowes rode one of his best races of the season, showing incredible pace in the latter stages to charge to fourth and miss out on the podium by just 0.650s.
Alex started Sunday’s Race 2 from pole position following on from his fourth-place finish in Race 1 on Saturday. When the lights went out, he made a good start and settled in behind his teammate van der Mark in second before the red flag was shown on the opening lap. In the restarted 19-lap race, Lowes entered the first corner in second behind van der Mark in a carbon copy of the original start.
The teammates battled together on the opening lap before Jonathan Rea passed them both for the lead, with Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies also getting past Lowes, as the 27-year-old patiently took his time to find a good feeling with his harder option front tyre, whilst battling with the top riders in the championship.
The British rider had focused on working on his late-race pace the whole weekend, realising that the abrasive new surface at Jerez would reward consistency in the latter stages. Lowes completed a 21-lap race simulation in FP2 on Friday, a strategy that clearly helped as halfway through the race he was able to improve his lap times and from fifth, started to close down the riders ahead of him.
On lap 11 his teammate ran wide after contact with Tom Sykes and Alex needed no more invitation, with the 2013 British Superbike Champion taking advantage to pass van der Mark and then setting his sights on closing the two-second gap to the podium battle ahead of him. Relentlessly he hunted down the top 3 riders in a blistering display of riding but, unfortunately for Alex, he just ran out of laps, eventually crossing the line in fourth only 0.650s behind Davies in third and 4.624s off the race winner.
This result means Lowes has 226 points and retains fifth in the championship standings with just two races remaining and he is confident he will be in the hunt for the podium once more at the final round in Qatar.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team return to action, keen to finish the year in the strongest fashion possible, at the final round of the season in Losail from the 2nd-4th November. Check out the Race 2 results.
“Honestly, my R1 was really good today! The first six laps I was too slow and couldn’t find the front grip I needed but in the second half of the race I was quite strong. We worked really hard this weekend and I did the best I could, so we have to be happy. Two fourth places are nice and hopefully, we can get that podium I wanted in Qatar instead, but it has been a really good day and I have enjoyed it. I tried to work on my pace for the second half of the race, as I knew the new surface would come into play, so I have worked all weekend to make sure I was strong at the end of the race and tried to catch a podium that way. It obviously worked as my pace was strong, so I have to be happy with that and with the work the team has done because we had a plan and we carried it out and it worked pretty well., Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough today but at the next race hopefully it will be. We have put the work in and we are starting to see some of the rewards for it. I am a racer, I want to win but I know that all of the races and the hard work we are doing now gives us more of a chance to do just that in future, and I look forward to seeing what we can do in Qatar!”