Sizzling sixth place for Alex in Thailand round race 1
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK rider Alex Lowes battled the heat at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand today to take sixth place in the first race of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s second round.
The morning brought a positive start for the two Pata Yamaha riders, concluding the final 15 minute free practice session in fourth and sixth, having worked on a number of settings improvements between them.
With air temperatures already hotter than those seen for the previous day – peaking at 34°C – the early afternoon saw Lowes and teammate Guintoli set about the task of Superpole, having both secured direct promotion to the second session thanks to Friday’s free practice performance.
The British rider showed immediately impressive pace, setting a 1’34.371 on race rubber for his first timed lap, and while prevented from utilising his run on the qualifying tyre by a technical issue, the 25-year-old’s original time was enough to take seventh.
A great start by Alex saw him jump to fifth position off the lights as race one began before circulating in seventh for the opening laps. Closing on countryman Chaz Davies and the front group by lap nine with determined 1’34.6 pace, the British rider looked to be about to make his move before running wide at turn three leaving him in ninth place.
An impressive comeback saw Lowes again dig deep, regaining ground and three positions to take sixth at the flag and 10 valuable championship points.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team return to Chang International Circuit on Sunday for the second 20-lap race scheduled at 16:00hrs local time.
Alex Lowes – Race: 6th / +20.754 / 20 Laps. Championship: 13th / 12 points
“A difficult day for me overall, but the race was quite positive with a sixth place finish so I’m quite happy with that even though we know the potential of the YZF-R1 and the package is a lot more. It’s my first proper full race of the year and I feel good with the direction we are going. I’m looking forward to making some more improvements for tomorrow and seeing what we can do in race two.”