Brilliant first KRT podium for Alex at Phillip Island
New Kawasaki Racing Team rider Alex Lowes finished an often-dramatic 22-lap opening WorldSBK race at Phillip Island in a battling second place, missing out on a win by just a slender 0.007 seconds.
After qualifying in eighth place in Superpole Alex ran seventh in the early laps but passed first Leon Haslam and then early leader Tom Sykes to go fourth – then suddenly lost a place on lap 16.
He clawed his way back into contention after a tangle with Leon Haslam and in a remarkable last five laps the leading positions were contested with full commitment. Alex felt confident of a final lap challenge for the win on the Ninja ZX-10RR.
He worked his way up to third and then pounced on the final few corners to make up the five bike lengths that eventual race winner Razgatlioglu had in hand entering the final few fast curves.
After such a dramatic opening race of the year – with the top four riders covered by just 0.137 seconds – Rea and Lowes will now face one ten lap Superpole race and then a second full 22-lap Race Two on Sunday 1 March.
“My first race green machine and I had been a little bit slow at the beginning of the week in the tests, struggling to feel really comfortable. But every day every session has got better and I have been calm and patient. That was the story of that race. I felt I had a little bit more tyre at the end than the other guys to race them but what a fantastic race to be part of. I hope all the fans enjoyed it. I had a smile on my face the whole way and hopefully tomorrow there are two races just as close and we can keep it going. Really enjoyed it, great racing, and looking forward to tomorrow.”