Alex places ninth in Laguna Seca Race 2
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team rounded off a challenging weekend at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a double top ten finish in Race 2 in Sunday’s round 8 of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship.
Alex Lowes bounced back from a DNF in Race 1 to secure a hard-fought ninth place after an excellent race-long duel with his teammate. Michael van der Mark crossed the line less than half a second behind Alex in tenth to add to his eighth-place finish from Race 1.
This result sees Lowes and van der Mark enter the summer break in fifth and seventh in the championship standings respectively, with the teammates now separated by just 19 points.
It was another glorious day at Laguna Seca and as the lights went out for Race 2 there were blue skies and track temperatures were hitting 52°C. Alex made a steady start from the middle of the fourth row, slotting in behind his teammate van der Mark in twelfth place and pushing hard.
The 26-year-old Brit showed his courageous character once more, despite struggling with the feeling of his R1 in the scorching heat, and set about closing the gap to van der Mark. On lap 5 he made an excellent pass on his teammate at the final corner to move into 11th and then tried to close the gap to the riders ahead.
Despite giving it 100% and, like his teammate, showing excellent consistency with his lap times, he could not quite catch the riders in front. Instead, he became embroiled in an exciting game of cat and mouse with van der Mark, riding bravely to ensure that, despite the pressure from his teammate, he brought his R1 home to cross the line in ninth position and collected 7 championship points.
Alex remains fifth in the championship standings but has increased his tally to 148 points. The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team now head into the summer break, although both Lowes and van der Mark are competing for the Factory Yamaha Racing Team at the Suzuka 8 Hours on the 28th-30th July.
They return to WorldSBK action on the 18th-20th August for round nine of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship at the Lausitzring.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team – 9th +33.044s
“It was a very difficult race. I didn’t feel comfortable with the bike but after everything that we have experienced this weekend it was good to at least finish and get a result. I’ve really struggled with front-end confidence here at Laguna Seca and those 25-laps were very hard work but I did what I could. I couldn’t push hard, it was a question of just riding as consistently as possible and trying to understand what we can do to improve our pace at this track in the future. It is clear that as a team we haven’t had the best setup this weekend, so now it’s time to get some rest from the WorldSBK calendar and come back stronger and fighting for podiums, which is what we have already shown we can achieve, at the next race in Germany.”