Alex takes fifth place finish in Thailand race 1
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team fought hard in the hot and humid conditions at the Chang International Circuit during Race 1 on Saturday for Round 2 of the 2018 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship in Thailand.
Alex Lowes qualified in sixth position but did not have a great start to the race, falling down to tenth place before fighting back hard to cross the line in a strong fifth position after storming through the field.
After ending Friday in tenth overall, Alex clearly meant business on Saturday in Buriram and got straight to work in FP4, setting a rapid 1:33.440 to top the morning session. When SP2 rolled around the 27-year-old British rider once again showed excellent pace and improved to a 1:33.033 to secure sixth on the grid after an incredibly close session.
Despite being just 0.222s off the man on pole, Lowes would start Race 1 from the second row in sixth on the grid, knowing he had the pace to battle at the front. Unfortunately, he struggled with corner entry at the start of the race and just could not quite match the pace of the riders at the front, dropping down to 10th by the end of lap 2. Gradually, Lowes’ feeling with his Pata Yamaha R1 started to improve and he started to charge his way through the field.
On lap eight he was up to eighth position and was the quickest man on track as he hunted down his teammate van der Mark. The two enjoyed another trademark battle for sixth before Lowes got past on lap 14 and set his sights on hunting down Tom Sykes ahead of him. Closing a gap of a second, he was on the back wheel of Sykes by lap 17 and after a short scrap with his compatriot, Alex made it past on lap 19 with a superb move to secure fifth place by the line and complete an excellent comeback.
The 2013 British Superbike Champion secured 11 points and is now seventh overall in the championship standings with 32 points. Feeling happy with his pace after the first few laps, Lowes is now looking forward to starting Sunday’s Race 2 from the front row of the grid in second.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team return to action at the Chang International Circuit at 11:30 am local time on Sunday in Buriram for Warm Up, with the 20-lap Race 2 scheduled to start at 4 pm. Check out the full Race 1 results from Thailand.
“To be honest, at Phillip Island I was slow at the start of the race and it was something I wanted to improve on here. It is normally one of my strong points, that I can get myself into a good position at the start, but at the minute I can’t quite do that. I am not sure if it is a combination of me pushing too hard and the bike not quite working as well during the early laps but anyway, overall it was a good race. It was great to see everyone so close together and I was enjoying the close racing and some good passes. I think we can be quite happy with the result we got from where we were at the start, I feel I did the best I could in that situation but honestly, I expect to do a bit better than that. We will try again tomorrow!”