Alex takes podium in final race of 2017 in Qatar
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team bounced back in incredible style on Saturday under the floodlights in Qatar at the final round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship, to confirm the progress made this year after their unfortunate double DNF in Race 1. Alex Lowes rode one of his best races of the season to charge from 10th on the grid to third, claiming his fourth podium of 2017 and ensuring he ended the year on a high.
Alex was determined to bounce back in the final race of 2017 after Race 1’s misfortune, but had his work cut out for him from tenth on the grid. When the lights went out, the 27-year-old British rider had a good start and set about finding his rhythm on his Pata Yamaha R1. Up into eighth by the end of the first lap, he continued to make superb progress and by the fourth lap, he had fought this way up to fourth, just behind his teammate van der Mark, who had made a sensational start and was closing the gap to the leaders.
As the race developed, Lowes’ pace got quicker and quicker as he hunted down his teammate, making an excellent move entering Turn 1 on the 13th lap for third position. He then set his sights on Chaz Davis and Jonathan Rea ahead of him, matching the Kawasaki and Ducati for pace and showing just how much the Pata Yamaha R1 has improved in 2017.
To highlight the progress made this season, Lowes’ R1 recorded the highest top speed down the 1068m straight at the Losail International Circuit, a scorching 320.5kph. Pushing as hard as he could in the latter stages, the 2013 British Superbike Champion managed to stick with Davies, but could not quite get close enough to challenge for second position, eventually crossing the line in third just 4.185s behind the race winner Jonathan Rea, to finish the season in style.
Lowes’ fourth podium of the year sees him end 2017 fifth in the championship standings with 242 points and he now heads into the winter break full of confidence and looking forward to 2018.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team ended the season on a high and will now head to the official off-season test in Jerez on the 22-24th of November full of confidence and knowing that they are entering into the 2018 season in the best possible way. Check out the Race 2 results.
“Yesterday’s race was really hard to take for me because, honestly, I felt really good all weekend and I just made a mistake in the last corner when trying to challenge Chaz Davies. Unfortunately, it was a little mistake that had a big consequence. It was hard mentally to come back today and push hard as I knew starting from tenth was going to be difficult. In the first six laps, I didn’t feel as good on the bike as I hoped to. I was losing time to the riders in front but then I felt really strong and I was coming forward all the time and was able to match the leaders’ pace. It is fantastic to get a podium after the crash yesterday; the team and Yamaha fully deserve it and I am happy to end the season like this and go into the winter break with a smile on my face and motivated next year to fight the top guys at every race!!”