Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes says he is looking forward to racing against old mate Leon Haslam at the Donington WorldSBK round and says if it comes to a last-lap dice, he will stick a move on the Puccetti Kawasaki wildcard.
Lowes ended the first day of practice in sixth place, two-tenths behind Haslam but says the bigger picture is to get in some consistent laptimes and race well in front of his home crowd.
“I’d like to be faster, obviously, but I was consistent and did a good job. It’s frustrating at the minute that we can’t seem to close the gap on the Kawasakis and the Ducatis - and we’ve got another Kawasaki here this weekend which doesn’t help our cause much but in the race I think Leon might drop back a bit and I’m excited to have a race with him as it has been a few years so that should be fun,” said Lowes, speaking at the track.
“Away from racing, he is a good mate but if I’ve got the chance to beat him at Goddards on the last lap them I’m going to, but I’d do that if we were playing golf, at the gym, we always want to beat each other. With his experience of the track and the Kawasaki this year, he probably shouldn’t be in my race but if he is and I’m there, he knows…
“The team are working hard but we are lacking that last little bit. I need to improve the last sector coming off the slow corners tomorrow. I’m missing a little bit of feel, if I go in as I want, I can’t get my speed off and get the right exit so it’s a combination of my riding style, the bike and my confidence in the front.
“On top of that, we’re always lacking a little in acceleration and if I’m making that up on the brakes, then it’s a vicious circle. Hopefully, I can make an improvement stopping the bike, get more speed off and that will improve my exit.
“I’m going to have a go at the podium for sure. This year, the realistic goal is consistency and if I can’t get on the podium I need to finish the race, so if I need to finish sixth instead of tucking the front for third, then that’s what I should do.”
In reply Haslam, who apparently owes Lowes a tenner after being beaten at golf yesterday, said: “Pfffttt”. Probably.