Yamaha man grabs first non Kawasaki or Du­cati podium of 2017

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - OLI RUSHBY BSB RE­PORTER oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

“The best race I’ve ever rid­den,” that was the way Alex Lowes summed up his bril­liant home round podium in race one af­ter fight­ing his way back from dead last on the open­ing lap.

The PATA Yamaha rider was vic­tim of an ag­gres­sive lunge from Leon Haslam who dived up the inside at turn one, push­ing Mil­wau­kee Aprilia’s Eu­gene Laverty wide and into Lowes who sub­se­quently ran off the track.

Re-join­ing the field last, Lowes picked his way through the pack un­til he found him­self scrap­ping with Aruba Du­cati’s Marco Me­landri for fourth place. How­ever, a crash for Jonathan Rea on lap 18 meant the duo were el­e­vated to third and fourth and a mis­take by Me­landri at the fi­nal cor­ner saw Lowes snatch third and re­peat his 2014 home podium success.

“We got a bit lucky on the last lap, but even be­fore then, my pace was re­ally strong,” said Lowes, who be­came the first non-kawasaki or Du­cati rider so far to stand on the podium in the 2017 sea­son. “I did 1m 28s the whole race and apart from the in­ci­dent at the start I felt re­ally good. We know there’s a gap to the Kawasakis and Du­catis, but what I’ve done all year is do the best I can.”

Lowes couldn’t have been more ec­static if he had ac­tu­ally won and his the fight through the pack proves his re­vised ap­proach for 2017– which has seen him fo­cus on set­tling for re­sults rather than push­ing on re­gard­less and mak­ing mis­takes – is pay­ing off.

“I was right at the back, but I told my­self to keep fo­cused and calm and pass peo­ple when I could. In the past, I think I’d have got a bit an­noyed and made a mis­take, but I thought if I kept go­ing and dug in I might get a bit of for­tune and on the last lap we did.

“To be hon­est, I think it was one of the best races I’ve rid­den in my life. I’ve al­ways been quite fast, but this year I’m show­ing I can be con­sis­tent too. I guess I’m a bit older now!”

While Lowes was un­able to re­peat his podium success on Sunday, team- mate Michael van der Mark al­most took the Bri­tish-run PATA Yamaha squad to dou­ble de­light af­ter a valiant ef­fort in the sec­ond race saw him only lose out on the podium to Chaz Davies in the fi­nal laps.

While he was gut­ted to miss out on the ros­trum, van der Mark says he learned a lot be­hind the faster Du­cati.

“We know where we need to im­prove now– in the slower corners, it is also where Chaz was stronger than me which un­for­tu­nately hap­pened to be the last part of the track,” he said. “It is good for us to see we are strong in the faster ar­eas and to see where we need to im­prove. We have a test at Misano this week, then hope­fully we can make a step be­fore the next race.”

It’s thumbs-up from the young Brit at Don­ing­ton Lowes’ new ma­ture ap­proach has paid off Alex was fly­ing the flag for Bri­tain

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