Alex takes his superb first KRT victory down under
Alex Lowes and KRT teammate Jonathan Rea each scored a close race victory on the second day of the opening round of the 2020 WorldSBK Championship, with Alex winning the full distance final contest, after a thrilling WorldSBK weekend in Australia.
The final race of the weekend, over 22-laps, featured up to nine riders in the leading group, even at half race distance, but it was Lowes and Rea who made the decisive moves to go 1-2 in warm and dry conditions. Alex was just 0.037 seconds ahead of Rea across the line, with Scott Redding 0.849 seconds behind him.
As temperatures rose for the final long race the leading bunch were closely packed but even as riders dropped off the group one by one there were four potential race winners again with just a couple flaps to go.
In the ten-lap Tissot-Superpole race, held at 12.00 noon today, Alex, so close to being the opening race winner on Saturday, was fourth in the sprint race, just over 0.2 seconds from his new team-mate.
In both races constant overtakes and aggressive passes were commonplace as the 2020 season started in an incredibly competitive fashion.
After his strong debut weekend on the Ninja ZX-10RR Alex now leads the championship with 51 points. Rea is fourth overall on 32 points after his race one no-score on Saturday.
Qatar will now host the next round of the championship, under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit, between 13 and 15 March.
“I knew when it got a lot hotter it was going to play into our hands as Marcel, my crew chief, had forced me to work really hard on old tyres in practice! When the grip dropped I knew I was going to be more comfortable than the other guys. In the second race there were so many people hitting everybody, Johnny trying to control the pace and Baz hit me a few times. It was hard just to stay calm but each time by past the pitbox I said to myself, ‘relax, stay calm, you have go the pace for the next ten laps – relax, relax.’ In the end, luckily, I had a bit more grip than the other guys and won race two. A great start here with Kawasaki. Obviously this track is a little bit strange so I need to just enjoy the moment, go to Qatar and refresh. We will see how we stack up but I am really happy with the first weekend.”