Alex Lowes Charges to Top Six Finish in Race 1 at the Lausitzring
It was a mixed Saturday for the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team at the Lausitzring for round nine of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship as Alex Lowes pulled off an excellent ride to secure sixth, whilst his teammate Michael van der Mark suffered a loss of rear tyre pressure that saw him cross the line in 15th.
Alex rode superbly to finish less than 0.8s off the man in fourth, despite struggling a little on a full fuel load at the start of the race.
Alex made it directly through to SP2 on Saturday and the 26-year-old was on blistering form, managing to set a 1:36.7745, just 0.653s from pole, to start Race 1 from the head of the third row in seventh. When the lights went out for Race 1, Lowes made a superb start, cutting inside at Turn 1 to move into fifth and breaking away from the rest of the pack with the leading group of five.
Unfortunately, he didn’t quite have the front-end confidence he needed on his Pata Yamaha R1 with a full load of fuel and so could not take the fight to the leaders in the opening laps, but instead became involved in an excellent race-long battle with Leon Camier. On lap 4 Camier passed Lowes for fifth, but as the race went on the feeling with his R1 improved dramatically as the fuel load dropped, allowing him to fight back and start to chase down Camier and Marco Melandri ahead of him.
Alex pushed hard in the final laps and closed down the gap to the men in front dramatically but, unfortunately, he ran out of laps, crossing the line in sixth just 0.1s behind the fifth-placed Camier and less than 0.8s behind Melandri in fourth. Due to the new grid rules for 2017, Lowes will line up on the front row for Sunday’s Race 2 in third and is confident the lessons learnt from today will allow him to make a step forward as he aims to secure his third podium of 2017.
This result sees Alex Lowes remain fifth in the championships standings with 158 points and extends his lead over the rider in sixth to 18 points. Teammate Van der Mark stays seventh in the standings with 130 points, just 10 points behind the rider in sixth place. The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team are back in action at the Lausitzring on Sunday at 9.30am for Warm Up, with Race 2 scheduled for 1pm.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team – 6th +16.783
“Today has been pretty good, I am quite happy with my race considering missing the test and yesterday’s dramas! I had a really good race with Leon Camier but, unfortunately, I didn’t quite have the front-end confidence to pass him. Fair play to him, he didn’t make one mistake and did a good job. I learnt quite a lot during the race today, my pace was honestly better than I expected and I think we can make some good steps for tomorrow. I am looking forward to Race 2, the R1 is working a lot better than last year at this track and I feel that I rode well today. I want to say thank you to my team who have done a great job this weekend, let’s see if we can take another step forward tomorrow!”