Alex taken out by Jonathan Rea while fighting for Jerez race 1 podium, finishing P16
Alex Lowes was left battered and bruised after Jonathan Rea made an ill-considered attempt to pass Yamaha’s British rider in the last corner on the final lap of today’s WorldSBK race at Jerez, as both were disputing third place.
As Championship leader and pole sitter Alvaro Bautista escaped at the front of the race, both Pata Yamaha riders spent the early stages riding in formation, pushing hard to close the gap to Rea in second place. It was van der Mark who caught the reigning champion first, outbraking Rea into the newly named Dani Pedrosa corner at the end of the back straight to move into second place. With a clear track in front of him the Dutchman quickly gapped the Kawasaki rider, who was already coming under intense pressure from the second Pata Yamaha R1.
After some aggressive but fair fighting between the two, Alex Lowes finally made a decisive move with three laps to go, going underneath Rea into turn one to take third place. As the two riders approached the final turn for the last time, Alex looked to have enough of a lead to ensure he’d claim the last step on the podium at the line. However, Rea misjudged his entry to the corner and made contact with Alex, hitting the Pata Yamaha rider’s handlebar hard enough to cause him to crash. While Rea remained upright and managed to hold onto third place, Alex could only remount to finish 16th and out of the points.
The incident was investigated by race direction, with a penalty imposed five hours after the chequered flag that demoted Rea from third to fourth position and saw Melandri awarded with his second podium finish of the season. Rea must also start tomorrow’s Superpole race from the back of the grid, but neither sanction compensated Lowes for the 16 points lost as a result of the last corner incident.
The crash left Alex nursing a damaged left shoulder and contusions on his left wrist. After an assessment and treatment in the medical centre the Pata Yamaha rider is confident he will be fit to race tomorrow but will undergo a precautionary medical check ahead of warm up.
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P16
“Obviously I’m gutted with the eventual outcome of the race. I was struggling with the bike a little bit in the race, which meant I wasn’t able to stay with Michael, but I felt I could be consistent with the pace I had. It was a good battle with Johnny; I felt I was a bit stronger than him and with three laps to go managed to get in front. I put in a good, solid, clean last lap and I felt like I had the beating of Johnny but then he made a big error of judgement in the final corner and took me straight off the bike. It was a decent hit and I’m pretty sore right now. He’s been penalised for the move, but that doesn’t change the fact that I missed out on the podium and 16 really important points, which is a shame. Anyway, there are a few things we can improve on the bike; my pace has been strong all weekend and, luckily, we have two races tomorrow in which to try and make up for today’s loss. A disappointing result, but there are also plenty of positives we can take away from today.”