Alex places fifth in Race 2 at Donington
Alex Lowes – who recorded the Pata Yamaha team’s first podium of the season in race one at Donington – had another strong race and crossed the line in fifth to make it a positive weekend for the team at their home event.
Alex delivered another excellent ride at his home race after his podium heroics in race one. The British rider, starting from seventh on the grid, got boxed in at the start but recovered in the opening stages of the race to be in sixth by the end of the second lap.
Unfortunately, he struggled to advance further for a number of laps, which affected his race. By the time he had moved into fourth position, the gap to his teammate ahead of him was over two seconds.
Pushing to the limit as always, he valiantly fought with Davies as the Welsh rider fought his way through the pack, but did not quite have the same feeling with his R1 in the hotter conditions on Sunday than he did in race one.
The 26-year-old decided to be sensible and focus on the championship, capping off a superb weekend by crossing the line in fifth.
This result means that Lowes, who is fifth in the standings with 121 points, has closed the gap to Marco Melandri in fourth to just 16 points. Van der Mark’s fourth place means he has now moved up to sixth in the championship, just 19 points behind his teammate. The team now head to a private test at Misano, before round seven of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship at the same circuit in two weeks’ time.
“Todays race was obviously not as much fun as yesterday with all the overtakes! My start wasn’t too great and on the first couple of laps I got a bit boxed in. I was really struggling to pass Mercado on the Aprilia. I tried a few times but ran wide at one point and my gap to Michael had grown to a couple of seconds. Once I got a clear track I was putting in some consistent times, but honestly, I was struggling to go any quicker. Near the end of the race when Chaz came past, there was nothing I could do because he was quicker than me, so I had to just be sensible. Of course, it would have been nice to have been able to have pushed to the end and join the fight for the podium, but I didnt have the correct feeling to do that today so I had to settle for the points. A third and fifth at my home round is really good, I am happy with that, and we closed down the gap to the guy in fourth in the championship. Its been a really positive weekend. Massive thanks to all the people that came, because its really, really nice for me to ride in front of my home fans. I think we can say we did a good job and I am looking forward to Misano. One of the good things is that the top guys in the championship passed me during the race and I could follow them to see where we are strong and where we need to improve, so I am looking forward to the test at Misano to try and improve.”