Alex Lowes seals his 2016 season with top ten finish in Losail
Alex Lowes closed his 2016 account with a final charge at Qatar, fighting from the back of the grid to claim a top-10 finish in Sunday’s restarted second race.
Caught out by an uncharacteristically bad start, Lowes found himself trapped in the first turn mix as the race began, coming together in a three-rider clash and running far off the circuit. Managing to remain on his YZF-R1 and return to the action, the British rider found himself at the back of the pack, in 24th, and with a mountain to climb as the race unfolded. Pushing himself and his Yamaha he regained five places before the red flag came out, sitting him 19th on the grid for the second attempt.
Renewed by the restart, Alex jumped four positions as the condensed contest began, continuing to climb a further three places in the next revolution before settling into a rhythm and catching the main group. Promoting himself to 11th on lap seven, Lowes had the top-10 firmly in his sights, achieving the move on the final lap to take a well-earned six points, bringing his total to 131 and sitting him 12th in the final standings.
2016 may have drawn to a close but there is little time to reflect as the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team returns to Europe. Preparations are already underway for the closely-following 2017 season with two winter tests planned for the coming-weeks ahead of the season opener at Australia’s Phillip Island in mid-February.
Alex Lowes Profile Alex Lowes
Race: 10th / +14.414 / 10 laps. Championship: 12th / 131 points
“A disappointing weekend for me in terms of results, but honestly it pretty much sums up my year. I had a problem with the starts which meant that I got away slow, normally on this bike it has been a strong point for me this year, so that in itself was disappointing. Because I didn’t get a good start, I was in turn one with van der Mark on the inside and Savadori on the outside and I literally had nowhere to go, we all came together and I ran off track. It’s a racing incident, one of those things, and obviously I got lucky with the race being red flagged.
In the restart, to come from the back of the grid to 10th place in 10 laps was quite good, it’s the best pace I’ve had all weekend, very similar to Sylvain and after yesterday that’s really positive because obviously he outperformed me then, so to close that gap right up today is good. It’s been a disappointing year as a whole but the team have worked really hard, it’s really nice for them to get their first podium and although my results weren’t great I think I rode well this weekend – I’ve not made any mistakes and I’ve brought the bike home as best as I could. It is what it is, I feel fit and healthy, the best I’ve felt all year so I’m looking forward to winter testing and upping my game next year!”
Source: Pata Yamaha