On what was a tough weekend for the Yamahas, Alex Lowes can say that he defended himself well. Fourth place in race 2 is a positive result that comes at an important time, the market heating up and the Brit not yet officially confirmed on the factory team for next year (a team that is also of interest to many other riders), despite lying third in the standings, ahead of team-mate Van Der Mark.
“I'm not worried about the renewal, I simply haven't signed yet. I had a tough weekend at Jerez and I crashed at Misano while leading but aside from that, I've always scored positive results, also here when I finished as the first Yamaha so I don't think there can be any doubts about my speed and work. If there is, I'll just stay in America and play golf (he laughs)”.
Another important piece of the puzzle for #22 could be the Suzuka 8 Hours, a win potentially worth a great deal right now.
“Now I have Suzuka, then I'll enjoy a holiday. I don't have a clause in my contract for an automatic renewal so I'll need to discuss it with Yamaha. A plan B? I have a back-up plan, but I'd like to stay with Yamaha as I feel very much at home and we work really hard”.
As for Sunday's race, Alex had great pace, which allowed him to cross the line in fourth place.
“All the Yamahas struggled a little this weekend, so we need to understand where to improve. As for me, I maintained good race pace, similar to the fastest guys,. Sykes was quicker than me through certain sectors but I was able to manage the situation and remain in front”.
As for the technical side of things, Lowes analyses the strengths and weaknesses of his R1.
“Our bike is probably the best in turning, but we need to improve in acceleration and find more stability. When we have grip we are fast through the turns, but when this drops, things get complicated. We need to work no the frame and use the electronics to help, without compromising on our strength, or rather our speed through the turns. The bike behaved well up until a certain point today, and then it began to move around a lot and this affected my lap times”.
Audio recorded by Paolo scalera