Tactical Approach in Australia Pays Dividends for Alex Lowes
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK riderAlex Lowes, overcame difficult conditions in today’s WorldSBK Race at Phillip Island to add to his championship points haul with fifth place. Alex rode a tactical race to conserve tyres; a strategy that allowed him to close on and then pass fellow Yamaha rider, Marco Melandri, on the final lap.
Alex lost out slightly on the run down to turn one after starting from fourth on the grid. The Pata Yamaha rider took three laps to pass Eugene Laverty, by which time the group ahead had pulled a significant gap. He also opted to conserve his tyres rather than push to close the gap and risk not finishing the race, maintaining a consistent pace that allowed him to close on the battle for fourth as first Melandri and then van der Mark started to struggle for grip.
The Briton passed Melandri for fifth at Lukey Heights on the final lap and was able to defend the position to the line. After the opening round of the 2019 season Alex lies fourth in the championship standings with 30 points, the same number of points as third placed Melandri.
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P5
“I lost quite a lot of time at the start behind Eugene Laverty; the Ducati is so fast in a straight line that I couldn’t pass him cleanly, then I didn’t want to panic and try and go too fast, as it’s easy to wear out the tyres, as we saw in the sprint race. I just stayed calm and almost timed it right at the end. It’s a bit frustrating because I felt that, looking at the times, I probably had the pace to challenge the Kawasakis for a podium but when you’re three seconds behind at the end of the second lap then, round here, it’s hard to make that time up. It’s a shame, but I’ll take fifth place and see if we can have a stronger round next time out in Thailand.”