Alex takes two fourth places at Assen
Alex Lowes was one of the main protagonists in both races today at Assen, picking up two fourth place finishes and only narrowly missing out on joining his Pata Yamaha teammate on the podium in Race 2.
Alex’s teammate Michael Van der Mark lined up in second position on the grid for WorldSBK Race 1, which was rescheduled at 11.00 this morning after being postponed from yesterday due to adverse weather conditions. The Pata Yamaha rider got a good start but an out of the seat moment in the final chicane at the end of the opening lap dropped him back into the clutches of Jonathan Rea, who passed him for third on the entry to turn one. At half race distance van der Mark caught and passed Markus Reiterberger to secure third place, which he held to the line to claim his first podium finish of the 2019 season. Alex crossed the line just behind his Pata Yamaha teammate in fourth place, after finally getting the better of a fairing bashing battle with Leon Haslam on the very last lap.
Race 2, held in slightly warmer conditions this afternoon, proved a thriller for the Dutch fans who’d braved the unseasonably cold weather all weekend. While Alvaro Bautista managed to once again pull a gap at the front in the early stages of the race, the battle for the remaining podium positions, in which both van der Mark and Lowes were heavily involved in from the start, proved a frantic one.
Just before half race distance, with Bautista out front and Rea chasing to close the gap in second, Alex swept past van der Mark to take third place, only to have to relinquish the position four laps later when his front tyre started to go off and he almost lost the front on two occasions. The 28-year-old Briton had a comfortable gap back to his closest pursuer, so backed off to ensure he finished fourth and picked up valuable championship points.
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P4 and P4
“I didn’t feel so strong in the colder conditions of the first race this morning, but it was good to get into a bit of a battle with Leon in the race and even better to beat him to fourth place on the last lap. I felt a lot stronger in the second race, when the slight increase in temperature meant we could run the soft rear tyre. I got up into third after passing Michael and I felt quite good, but then when he came back past me there were a couple of sections where he was a bit stronger than me and I couldn’t quite stay with him. I have to be happy with two fourth places, as this was the best we could do here today, so I’ll take the points and start looking now towards the next race in Imola. Congratulations to Michael and the team, as it was great to see a double podium again today. There’s a fantastic atmosphere in the team and we’re making steps forward every week, which is good to see and great to be a part of.”