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Disappointing Race 1 for Lowes at Imola

Disappointing Race 1 for Lowes at Imola

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Race

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team battled hard throughout Race 1 at Round 5 of the 2018 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship in Imola on Saturday.

Alex Lowes qualified in tenth and gave it absolutely everything during the race, despite not having the best feeling with his bike, to bring his Pata Yamaha R1 home in a solid tenth-place finish.

It was another gorgeous day at Imola with blues skies and the sun shining on the iconic Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit, meaning track temperatures were well over 40°C. Imola has not been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Pata Yamaha Team since the manufacturer's return to the WorldSBK Championship

After Alex Lowes finished Saturday morning's FP4 in ninth, the 27-year-old British rider was determined to join his teammate in SP2 and set his fastest ever lap at Imola, a 1:47.097, to top SP1 in some style and finish 0.539s ahead of the rest. Once on the qualifying tyre in SP2, he too did not have the best feeling with his Pata Yamaha R1 and failed to improve his time, setting a 1:47.115 to start Race 1 from 10th on the grid.

Lining up at the head of the fourth row, Lowes enjoyed a good start and was up to ninth by the first corner. Unfortunately, it soon became evident that he was struggling to match his rivals under acceleration. In typical style, the 2013 British Superbike Champion showed full commitment to be involved in an excellent four-way battle for ninth with Leon Haslam, Eugene Laverty, Lorenzo Savadori and Toprak Razgatlioglu. Scrapping for almost the entire 19-laps, he gave as good as he got and never gave up. He continued to battle right to the line to secure a tenth-place finish, just 0.108s off Haslam in ninth, and collected 6 championship points to take his season tally to 82. This sees him seventh overall in the standings and Lowes is determined to work on the data collected during the race with his team overnight to allow him to come out fighting from 12th on the grid in Sunday's Race 2.

After a day of ups and downs that matched the rollercoaster nature of the Imola track, the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team are looking forward to returning to action on Sunday at 9:35 am local time (CEST) for Warm Up, with the 19-lap Race 2 scheduled to start at 1 pm. Check out the full Race 1 results.

Alex Lowes

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 10th - 30.377s

"Honestly, today was extremely disappointing and a really tough 19 laps. We needed to think about tyre life but, unfortunately, the way we had the power delivery set up made life just too difficult on corner exit and I felt like I wasn't able to fight from the first lap right the way to the end. I am disappointed, but I am sure that with a better package tomorrow and a good night's sleep I will come back and give my absolute best in Race 2 tomorrow."

Paul Denning

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Principal

"As we said yesterday, we expected Imola to be tough and the race around this extremely technically challenging racetrack exposed the less strong aspects of our current machine. Alex had a far less easy race. The team had focused on the setting of his R1 in order to assist with tyre life but, unfortunately, it left Alex unable to fight under acceleration and he did what he could to bring the bike home in the top ten.  Race 1 in Imola is done, Alex’s crew have data to give him a better machine and we hope to do our best in Race 2."