Alex Lowes takes podium in Thailand
Soaring temperatures and a big crowd saw Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes ride to a stunning podium finish as Thailand hosted its debut World Superbike races at the Chang International Circuit this afternoon.
Determined to get a great start with his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R, Lowes took second on the opening lap of the final race, holding the position for the first half against the Aprilia of Leon Haslam. Succumbing on lap eight, he continued his stellar 1’34 pace, to maintain a strong gap throughout the remainder of the action, claiming the third place finish and rounding out the day with a podium celebration.
Having demonstrated blistering consistent pace all weekend, a bad start to Lowes’ opening race initially saw him demoted him to fifth position before quickly advancing hard on the wheels of Tom Sykes’ Kawasaki. Proving somewhat of a roadblock for the next four laps, Lowes took his chance at turn three, regaining his grid position in the hunt for the podium.
A mistake on the 12th lap saw the British racer low-side his Suzuki at turn 12 but his determination saw him remount quickly, allowing him to cut back through the pack to finish sixth on the road. A protest from a rival team saw Lowes’ demoted to seventh for allegedly passing under a yellow flag.
Jonathan Rea claimed both race victories and fastest lap awards aboard his Kawasaki in front of a 50,000-strong crowd at the new Chang circuit in Buriram. Lowes’ podium contributed to his day’s haul of 25 points, promoting him to seventh in the Championship after four races.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s next weekend of competition will herald the start of the Europe season, as the eni FIM Superbike World Championship heads to Aragon in Spain on Sunday April 12th.
“I’m really happy to be back on the podium – it’s a third place but for us it means a lot after Phillip Island! It really should have been two podiums today, I just made a small mistake because I was determined to catch Leon and get second. As a team we’ve all worked so hard but the result is that we are back on the podium and back in the front group, and if we can keep a bit more consistency like this for the rest of the year then it will be a great season for us.
I don’t really know about the yellow flag penalty, it’s a bit of a shame – Salom went off on the Astroturf at turn four so he shut off and Troy and I obviously passed him and when we arrived at the next corner there was a yellow flag! To be honest I didn’t think much about it. It’s disappointing as two top-sixes would have been good but it is what it is.
So, one mistake away from it being a really great weekend but I’m really happy with race two, I was quite aggressive at the start but I rode a steady race and it’s a great way to thank the team for their hard work. Now I can concentrate on keeping it going for the next round in Aragon!”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“After showing great potential in Philip island and suffering a really difficult race day, it’s been very positive to reconfirm the potential of the 2015 Suzuki GSX-R, and of course Alex himself, this weekend in Thailand. I wouldn’t have said the track suited the bike particularly well but we were fast all weekend, qualified well and aside for a very small mistake in the first race, should have been on the podium in both races. Congratulations to the whole team but especially to Alex, who is only in his second year of international competition but is starting to look like a serious contender.”
Source: Crescent Suzuki