Alex takes fourth spot in tough Aragon race 2
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team put in maximum effort in Race 2 at Aragon for Round 3 of the 2018 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship on Sunday. Alex Lowes started from fourth on the grid and was involved in the podium battle but found himself suffering from a lack of grip on corner exit. Despite this, he rode to his full potential and enjoyed a superb battle once more with his teammate Michael van der Mark in the latter stages of the race, emerging the victor of the duel to cross the line in fourth place.
As has been the theme for most of the 2018 season so far, there was almost nothing to separate the Pata Yamaha riders all weekend, with them matching each other’s time exactly in Friday’s free practice. Then there was only 0.01s between them in Saturday’s qualifying before they crossed the line in Race 1 within 1.053s of each other after 17 laps of racing.
Alex finished Saturday’s Race 1 in a battling seventh place despite not being 100% comfortable with the feeling with his bike, meaning he would start Race 2 from the middle of the second row. He finished Sunday morning’s Warm Up in third as the Pata Yamaha team tried to recreate the confidence he had with his R1 at the last round in Buriram but when the lights went out for Race 2, he did not have the drive he needed coming out of the corners. The 27-year-old British rider showed incredible determination and maturity to ride around this issue as, after dropping down to seventh in the early laps, he started to fight back and pick off the riders in front of him one by one.
By lap 8 he had passed his teammate van der Mark for fifth place but, as has been the case in nearly every race so far this season, the two would enjoy an excellent battle right to the line. As the race went on, the duel between the teammates became ever more sensational, and on the last lap, they swapped places a number of times before Lowes managed to power to the chequered flag ahead of his teammate to secure fourth place. Disappointed to not have the pace for the podium despite his best efforts, Lowes is determined to bounce back in Assen. The 13 points he collected sees him fifth in the championship standings with 70 points from the first six races.
Despite a tricky weekend at times, the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team head to Round 4 of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship at the TT Circuit Assen on the 20th-22nd of April confident they will be back fighting for the podium. Check out the full Race 2 results.
“The race was really tough for me! I struggled from the start and I was simply not fast enough. I said it yesterday, but today was the same, in as much as it was a case of just doing the best I can. I understood after 2 or 3 laps that I did not have the pace to fight for the victory so my target was to finish the rest of the race in the best position possible, make no mistakes, and ride as fast as I could till the end. That is, obviously, what you should do in every race but normally you have a little bit in reserve for when you want to pass people. To be honest, I didn’t really worry about anyone else and just tried to do the best I could. I realised Michael was struggling with the front near the end of the race and I managed to get past him after a nice little battle but, like I said, it was too far from the lead. It is not too important to me to finish in front of him when we are ten seconds from the front. Hopefully, next week in Assen, Michael’s home race, we want to be battling like that for the win!”