Alex Lowes's hopes of giving the troubled Castrol Honda team something to smile about in the latest World Superbike round at Silverstone came to a disappointing end after he failed to finish either race.
Having made his WSBK debut at Brno as the substitute for Jonathan Rea, Lowes returned at Silverstone hoping his knowledge of the circuit would enable him to be more competitive.
However, having missed out on a spot in Superpole, Lowes ran towards the bottom end of the points in race one before crashing heavily on the exit of Becketts. Forcing him onto the second bike for race two, Lowes ran wide at the start, dropping him to the back of the field, the British Superbike regular deciding to retire as he struggled with the spare bike's set-up.
Thanking Castrol Honda for the opportunity to compete on the world stage, Lowes was nonetheless frustrated to have little to show for it in the way of results.
“I can't really begin to express my disappointment, not just for myself, but for the whole team. After the test last week, I came to Silverstone with high hopes for an improvement over Brno, which was the first time I had seen the bike.
“It wasn't to be though and we just weren't able to find a setting here that gave me enough confidence in the front end of the bike. I've had a mega experience and it was great having Jonathan [Rea] around this weekend. He's hoping to be back on the bike for the next round and I'm sure he can get the results that the team deserves after all the hard work they've put in.”
With Ruben Xaus also out with injury and his original stand-in Karl Muggeridge also forced to withdraw because of a push-bike accident, Fabrizio Lai stepped in, but couldn't get onto the scoresheet either.
With Castrol Honda having scored just one point in the last six races, team manager Ronald ten Kate says new parts will be introduced to the CBR1000RR in an effort to improve its form.
“Not the results we wanted from the weekend, of course, but we still look forward. We have a test at Assen before the end of August, with quite some new parts to try on the bike that should allow us to go faster again. I'd like to thank Alex and Fabrizio for their efforts this weekend. Fabrizio's was a very last-minute booking for Silverstone and he's done quite well, considering it's his first time here and he hadn't seen the bike before he walked into the garage. It was nice to work with him.
“It's been a good weekend with young Alex, too, with a few ups and downs, of course. Race one was quite promising and he was going forward through the field. Unfortunately, the crash damage to his bike meant he had to use his spare in the second race and that had quite a different feeling. We've really enjoyed working with him and we wish him good luck in his BSB racing.”