Alex Lowes fights off illness to take seventh in Imola race 1
Alex Lowes put in an heroic effort to finish in seventh place in a thrilling WorldSBK Race 1 in Imola today, despite suffering badly from the effects of a stomach bug picked up earlier in the week.
Lining up eighth on the grid after a difficult Superpole qualifying session, Alex’s teammate Michael van der Mark got one of his trademark lightning starts and had fought his way through to fourth on the opening lap, with Alex in close attendance behind. The two Pata Yamaha riders then rode in formation until Alex made a pass for fourth on lap three, before having to surrender the position as the effects of his illness started to take their toll on his energy reserves.
With his energy sapped by the illness he’s been suffering with all weekend, Alex was unable to match the pace of his teammate and, as the race progressed, dropped back into the clutches of first Haslam and then Melandri, eventually finishing the race in seventh place; an heroic effort given his physical condition. Alex is confident that, if he can recover some of his strength overnight then he has the package necessary to fight for the podium tomorrow.
The Yamaha riders will be back in action tomorrow morning in the 10-lap Superpole sprint race, which gets underway at 11.00 local time, followed by lights out for Race 2 at 14.00.
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P7
“Given my condition I’m really relieved to have come away from the race today with a top ten finish and nine points because, after qualifying, I was feeling the worst that I’ve felt all weekend. I didn’t feel any better ahead of the race, so I knew I was going to run out of energy at some point, but I didn’t expect to be physically sick during the race on top of everything else! I just did the best that I could under the circumstances, and these probably count as the best nine points I’ve ever scored. So, I’m reasonably happy, but now I hope I can recover a bit more by tomorrow so we can fight again at the front, but this time for the whole race.”