Solid tenth place finish for Alex in Imola race 1
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team battled hard throughout Race 1 at Round 5 of the 2018 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship in Imola on Saturday. Alex Lowes qualified in tenth and gave it absolutely everything during the race, despite not having the best feeling with his bike, to bring his Pata Yamaha R1 home in a solid tenth-place finish.
After Alex finished Saturday morning’s FP4 in ninth, the 27-year-old British rider was determined to join his teammate in SP2 and set his fastest ever lap at Imola, a 1:47.097, to top SP1 in some style and finish 0.539s ahead of the rest. Once on the qualifying tyre in SP2, he too did not have the best feeling with his Pata Yamaha R1 and failed to improve his time, setting a 1:47.115 to start Race 1 from 10th on the grid.
Lining up at the head of the fourth row, Lowes enjoyed a good start and was up to ninth by the first corner. Unfortunately, it soon became evident that he was struggling to match his rivals under acceleration. In typical style, the 2013 British Superbike Champion showed full commitment to be involved in an excellent four-way battle for ninth with Leon Haslam, Eugene Laverty, Lorenzo Savadori and Toprak Razgatlioglu.
Scrapping for almost the entire 19-laps, he gave as good as he got and never gave up. He continued to battle right to the line to secure a tenth-place finish, just 0.108s off Haslam in ninth, and collected 6 championship points to take his season tally to 82. This sees him seventh overall in the standings and Alex is determined to work on the data collected during the race with his team overnight to allow him to come out fighting from 12th on the grid in Sunday’s Race 2.
After a day of ups and downs that matched the rollercoaster nature of the Imola track, the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team are looking forward to returning to action on Sunday at 9:35 am local time (CEST) for Warm Up, with the 19-lap Race 2 scheduled to start at 1 pm. Check out the full Race 1 results.
“Honestly, today was extremely disappointing and a really tough 19 laps. We needed to think about tyre life but, unfortunately, the way we had the power delivery set up made life just too difficult on corner exit and I felt like I wasn’t able to fight from the first lap right the way to the end. I am disappointed but I am sure that with a better package tomorrow and a good night’s sleep I will come back and give my absolute best in Race 2 tomorrow.”