Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes closed his points deficit to Marco Melandri with another fifth-place ride at Donington Park’s second WorldSBK race and said it was useful to be able to follow Chaz Davies to gauge better where his R1 needs to improve.
Lowes, who grabbed a podium on Saturday, had a fairly lonely race after he got clear of traffic but was able to put in fast and consistent times to finish one place behind team-mate Michael Van Der Mark.
“The first ten laps were tough, I couldn’t get into a rhythm. I was battling with people and once I got a clear track we stayed the same but I wasn’t as confident with the bike today, and it made the last part of the race a bit boring really,” said Lowes, speaking at the track.
“It was a difficult race because the temperature came up and I had to be sensible at the end, but I am still happy with fifth and it is a good load of points and I have closed the gap on Melandri in fourth and I have pulled some points on the people behind me in sixth.
“I was really struggling to pass Mercado on the Aprilia. I tried a few times but ran wide at one point and my gap to Michael had grown to a couple of seconds. Once I got a clear track I was putting in some consistent times, but honestly, I was struggling to go any quicker. Near the end of the race when Chaz came past, there was nothing I could do because he was quicker than me, so I had to just be sensible.
“Of course, it would have been nice to have been able to have pushed to the end and join the fight for the podium, but I didn’t have the correct feeling to do that today so I had to settle for the points. A third and fifth at my home round is really good, I am happy with that.
“It’s been a really positive weekend. Massive thanks to all the people that came, because its really, really nice for me to ride in front of my home fans. I think we can say we did a good job and I am looking forward to Misano. One of the good things is that the top guys in the championship passed me during the race and I could follow them to see where we are strong and where we need to improve, so I am looking forward to the test at Misano.”