Pata Yamaha rider once again in top spots at US racetrack after Race 2
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) closed off another stunning weekend in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship with fourth position in Race 2, seeing off his teammate Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) with two laps remaining and taking his second best points overhaul in 2018 at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The trip home to Donington Park seems to have breathed new life into Lowes’ season, as since then the Pata Yamaha man has not finished outside the top-5. That’s six consecutive races amongst the championship’s best, something Lowes had only done four times in the ten previous contests. The Lincolnshire rider was seventh in the standings before the UK Round – he’s up to fifth now, and closing in on Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK).
While a repeat of his Brno Race 2 triumph was not quite within his reach, Lowes leaves the USA pleased with the weekend’s results: “Before the weekend I would have obviously taken a third and a fourth, it’s been quite a tricky race for us in the past. In today’s race I felt really strong, but I couldn’t get by Michael early enough to make an attack on Eugene. It was a good race, I enjoyed the battle”.
His battle with van der Mark was one of the highlights of the day, hitting its apex with two and a half laps to go thanks to an exquisite pass from Lowes in the lead-up to Turn 8. However, it did leave Lowes with no time to attempt a podium challenge: “It’s a really fun track to ride but not easy to pass so I was really trying to take some different lines. I’d have an attempt to move, but then I’d lose half a second because there wouldn’t quite be enough space.”
“I enjoyed the battle and I’m happy with fourth place, but I think my pace was a bit better than that”, he admits.
In spite of that, Race 2 confirmed that Lowes is perhaps in the best form of his career. Throughout the year, the Brit had often struggled through the final third of races, but since Brno there’s been no sign of any dropoff whatsoever. Lowes appreciates that the bar he has set himself is higher now going into the final five rounds: “I think that whenever your bike’s improving and your team’s improving, and you get the wins and the podiums, you’ve just got to keep fighting, the expectations become that every weekend”.
“But at this track, it has been really tough, so to still get on the podium here bodes well for the rest of the year”, Lowes adds. “I think we can expect to challenge every weekend”.
Watch the best highlights from the weekend’s action, including Lowes’ first ever Laguna Seca podium, thanks to the WorldSBK VideoPass.