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Andrea Locatelli absolves Lowes over last lap WorldSBK crash, reveals reason for dramatic exit

Gold & Goose

Andrea Locatelli says he felt like he was ‘in a bad dream’ after seeing his hopes of a maiden WorldSBK win end in a nasty high-side in the final race of the 2024 WorldBSK season opener at Phillip Island.

On an otherwise encouraging curtain raiser for the Italian, Locatelli came away with a pair of tactically astute second place results in Race 1 and the Superpole Race, but it was in Race 2 where he arguably lost his best shot at breaking his victory duck.

Indeed, Locatelli was on a rapid charge in the closing stages of the second encounter - held over two parts and run to just 11 laps from a standing start after an earlier red flag - after adopting a more unorthodox hard rear tyre despite the shortened length.


A tactic he’d used in both Race 1 and the Superpole Race, the decision was both the making and breaking of Locatelli’s results in those events with the hard tyre proving tricky initially to leave him at the bottom end of the top ten, before wilting rubber around him enabled him to fight-back to second on both occasions.

Though those bad getaways ultimately contributed to him not having enough time to make in-roads on the victory, Locatelli looked to have found the right balance in Race 2 as he clawed his way up to third and onto the tail of slowing leader Alvaro Bautista and Alex Lowes, who was about to pounce on the Ducati.

Sensing Lowes’ attack, Locatelli attempted to make the first strike before mounting his own late bid for the win but despite scurrying up the inside at Turn 4, he’d flick into a violent high-side on the exit and out of the race.

Though replays appeared to suggest Locatelli was given a thump by Lowes - with stewards calling it a racing incident - as he re-passed, the Italian has clarified that it was in fact a technical glitch that was responsible for his crash.

“The feeling was amazing in Race 2, I think in the end this weekend we did a really good job and we never made any mistakes,” he said. 

“Unfortunately, we are checking on the data and we don’t know yet what was the reason but the bike was in neutral – so then I was wide and when I tried to put again the gear, I made a mistake and I lost the rear. 

“It is a big shame because everything was working well and it was just the last lap and we were fighting for the race win. 

“Feels a bit like a bad dream, but at the same time I want to say thanks to Yamaha and the team because we were working well during the weekend – we were fast in every condition and every session in front.

“So this is for sure something good for us and let’s see what we can do in the next race. We will be on track for two days of testing before the Barcelona round, we need to improve a little bit more but the confidence on my R1 is good so let’s see what we can do.”

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