Alex Lowes Storms to WorldSBK Race 1 Podium in Qatar
Alex Lowes consolidated his third position in the championship standings with a fantastic podium in WorldSBK Race 1, which was run in sweltering conditions under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar this evening. The Pata Yamaha with Rizla rider shadowed eventual winner Jonathan Rea closely for much of the race, but lacked the additional pace needed to mount a challenge for the lead.
Alex, starting from second place on the grid after an impressive qualifying performance this afternoon, was initially the only rider able to match the pace of pole sitter Rea. The pair managed to pull out a significant lead on the opening lap, which they’d extended to more than two seconds by half race distance. It was only as the race entered the final stages that Rea was able to create a small gap at the front, leaving Lowes to defend his position against Chaz Davies, who’d finally managed to close down the leading duo.
Davies made his move with four laps to go, diving up the inside of Alex into the final turn and then using the power of the Ducati on the one kilometre long straight to build an unassailable gap. Third place in the race means that Alex remains third in the championship standings but has extended his lead over fourth placed van der Mark from one to seven points, with Toprak Razgatlioglu a further ten points back in fifth.
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK with Rizla – P3
“A good grid position was important because on this track it’s easy for the first few guys to get away in the early laps, even with the slipstream effect on the straight. I felt good from the start and managed to jump on the back of Jonathan, who’s always so fast early on, and that helped us pull away. In the mid part of the race I felt quite good, taking some better lines and I thought I might be able to challenge for the lead. But then I started to make some mistakes on the front and Chaz came past me. I saw I had a big gap back to fourth and, at that point, I decided to be sensible and bring the bike home for a podium finish. It was important to start with a good result in Race 1; while it wasn’t possible to secure third place in the championship today, it was certainly possible to make the job a lot harder. I really enjoyed today and now the focus is on tomorrow, which we’ll take race by race.”