Small mistake costs Alex dear in Portimao race one
It proved a tough race one for Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team rider Alex Lowes on Saturday – as he was fighting in the top six and chasing the podium a small mistake saw him crash at Turn 5, the British rider remounting to finish in 18th place and collect vital data for Race 2 on Sunday.
Alex improved from Friday to end FP3 in fifth and then went one better in qualifying, setting the fourth fastest time and starting Race 1 from the front of the second row. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the best of starts and found himself in tenth at the end of the first lap.
Like his teammate van der Mark, it didn’t take the 27-year-old long to find his rhythm and he started to scythe his way through the field. He had fought his way up to sixth, when a small mistake on lap 8 at Turn 5 saw him lose the front on a large bump.
Valiantly, he immediately ran to his bike and re-mounted but rejoined right at the back of the field. Determined to make up for his mistake, he set about hunting down the riders in front but was forced to pit on lap 15 for repairs, and when he returned to the track he was a lap down.
Despite this, he showed good pace and went on to cross the line in 18th position, in the process collecting vital data for his team to help them for Race 2 on Sunday. Lowes remains fifth in the championship standings with 169 points and will start Sunday’s Race 2 from the head of the fourth row in 10th.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team – 18th + 1 lap
“I am really disappointed, as I feel I had the pace to fight for the podium today. One issue was my start, I just couldn’t drive forward as I needed to and I lost a number of places off the line. Just as I felt like I was getting my rhythm back and had fought my way into the top six, I made a small mistake, carrying too much speed into Turn 5, hit the big bump there and lost the front. It is so easy to make a mistake at that corner, so it is just one of those things but I’m sorry for me, Yamaha and the Pata team because we could have turned a bad start into a really good result. The positive is that I had the pace to fight for the podium and by going back out and completing the race, we managed to collect some good data that will help us for Race 2.”