Alex Lowes continues momentum with Race 1 podium at Laguna Seca
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team continued their stunning run of recent podiums in Race 1 at Laguna Seca on Saturday, Round 8 of the 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship.
Alex Lowes followed up his victory in Race 2 at the last round in Brno by charging from fifth on the grid to cross the line in a superb third place and secure his third podium of the season.
After collecting four podiums in the last four races, the Pata Yamaha team were confident heading into Saturday’s action at a sun-drenched WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, despite not enjoying the best results at the track in the past.
Alex had ended Friday’s practice in seventh overall after focusing on building a good race pace and built on this by ending FP4 in fifth. Heading straight into SP2, the 27-year-old British rider set a 1:22.729 and felt he could have gone even quicker were it not for a couple of small errors on his best lap.
When the lights went out for Race 1, Alex enjoyed a good start and after some excellent overtakes he was already up to forth and setting his sights on the podium battle ahead of him by the end of the second lap. He got his head down and showed great consistency in his lap times, managing to catch and pass Tom Sykes on lap nine and move up to third.
Within two laps he had opened up a three-second gap to the riders behind him and managed this superbly all the way to the line to secure his third podium of the season. After the ninth WorldSBK podium of Alex’s career, he moves up to fifth in the championship standings with 170 points, just 18 behind Sykes in fourth, and will line up for Race 2 seventh on the grid.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team – 3rd +12.212s
“I am really, really happy! The race itself wasn’t fantastic, the second part was quite boring as I needed to carefully manage my position, but I was really strong at the start and that allowed me to get the podium. To get a podium at Laguna on the Yamaha is beyond what I expected so I think we can be happy with the job we have done as a team. We will try to improve the setting of the bike a bit for tomorrow and see if we can have another go, and I just want to say a big thanks to the guys at Yamaha, Crescent and everyone involved in the whole project because to get a podium here, at what was our worst track last year, is testament to everyone’s efforts.”