Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes walked away from the Phillip Island WorldSBK round joint third in the championship chase with 26 points, no crashes and a feeling of a job well done by him and the Crescent team for racing with the title favourites from the world go.
Lowes has changed his approach to the job and it is apparent as there were no lairy moves or lunges for position. The Derby rider knew where he could pass and where he couldn’t, conserved his tyre for a push when he thought it needed it and he is in with shot of wins all year. It’s a far cry from 2016 when the youngster had two points and one non-finish when he boarded the plane.
“I felt that I had a good opportunity to get on the podium but when I attacked on the last lap I just struggled more than I expected. Halfway through the race I made a plan to look after the bike and tyre, then pushed back into a 1'31.7 pace near the end, so that took me back to the leading group. The bike was working really well but I was just not fast enough on the second half of the track, and I was not aggressive enough there. That is what cost us a podium, so it's something I have to work on for next year at this track,” said Lowes.
“Apart from that I felt really strong and I was competitive for 44 race laps this weekend. I know the guys have done a fantastic job just improving the R1 in lots of areas. We can be happy with being equal third in the points, it's a good start to the year, and something we can build on as a team. I think I have performed in a better way, not just riding two good races, but in how I have approached the weekend, how I conducted myself, how the team has worked together - I think we have all made a better job and that we have a good base to work from."