Alex puts in top six finish and superb fightback at Sepang
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes took a determined top-six finish at the Sepang International Circuit’s opening World Superbike Championship race today followed by a dramatic first-corner chaos that saw him fight from the back in race two.
With tyre management being the order of the day, Alex rode a determined race as the Malaysian track recorded 43°C for the opening contest. A difficult start to race one left the British racer circulating just inside the top-10 for the first half, before digging deep on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R. Claiming a position a lap as the race concluded, Lowes crossed the line in sixth for 10 championship points.
Forced to take avoiding action after a dramatic first corner crash by Max Biaggi on the opening lap of race two, Alex found himself with an uphill battle from last position. Again finding initial ultimate pace difficult but regrouping as his rhythm increased, he rode an unwavering race for the remaining laps, claiming a well-deserved eighth for eight further points and promoting him up to ninth overall in the Championship standings.
Championship contenders Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) and Chaz Davies (Ducati) shared a victory each as the Sepang circuit avoided the threatening tropical showers – the cloud cover cooling the track (39°C) if not the air (31°C) for the second encounter.
A long summer break now beckons for Voltcom Crescent Suzuki with the team returning to its UK Headquarters. Lowes and de Puniet will join the team in Verwood, Dorset for a Suzuki test ride and open day on Saturday August 8th to meet the fans, with the next race scheduled for September as the Championship returns to Spain, and the Jerez circuit, on the 20th.
“It was a difficult day but I feel like I rode really well. I’m disappointed with the sixth and eighth results on paper but riding-wise I think I did a good job. Obviously I just got unlucky in the second race with the incident in turn one; it can happen any time but when everything is going a bit uphill, it seems to happen to us! Apart from that I did my absolute best, caught-up as much as possible without crashing; and went forward in both races. We struggled a bit for out-and-out pace here so we tried to set our bike-up for 16 laps, as it’s a bit of a peculiar track for tyre life.
It’s been a tough weekend but I feel like I’m starting to learn how to ride in this heat a lot better and without the race two incident at the start there was the potential to battle for fourth place. I’m looking forward to a few weeks off before we have the last three rounds of the year and I’m hoping for a really strong finish as I’m really starting to build-back some confidence and belief in myself now.”
Source: Suzuki Racing