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Pata Yamaha Battle Extreme Heat & Grip Issues in Race 1 at Laguna Seca

Pata Yamaha Battle Extreme Heat & Grip Issues in Race 1 at Laguna Seca

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The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team had a mixed day under the scorching sun at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday during Race 1 for round eight of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. Michael van der Mark fought his way from 13th on the grid to secure an eighth-place finish despite track temperatures of almost 60°C and suffering from a lack of grip. His teammate Alex Lowes qualified in eighth but unfortunately crashed out of the race on lap 7 at Turn 5, although he still retains fifth place in the championship standings.

 

Lowes experienced a day of ups and downs at Laguna Seca on Saturday after ending Friday in eighth overall and making it directly through to SP2. In the 15-minute qualifying session, the 26-year-old British rider improved on his best time from free practice by almost a second to qualify on the middle of the third row in eighth for the race. When the lights went out Lowes, like many riders, struggled for grip in the extreme heat and found himself in 11th after the first few corners, just ahead of his teammate van der Mark. Determined to make up the lost ground he pushed hard on his R1 and was closing down the group in front when he lost the front at Turn 5 on lap 7 without any prior warning and crashed out of the race. Lowes was luckily unhurt after the fast crash and left bemused as to the cause, but is determined to bounce back in Sunday's Race 2. Due to the grid rules for 2017, Lowes will start Sunday's 25-lap Race 2 from the middle of the fourth row in 11th.

 

AlexLowes - 

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - DNF

"Today was very tough. I qualified in eighth and felt like we made a step forward in terms of race pace in SP2 as I improved by almost a second from practice. In the race, I didn't have the feeling I expected with the bike. I pushed as hard as I could, but on lap 7, while trying to close down the guys ahead of me I lost the front at Turn 5. I am not sure what exactly happened, but I am okay. It was frustrating as I had no warning, so we will look at the data tonight to allow us to come out fighting for Race 2 tomorrow."

Report and Image courtesy of Yamaha Racing.