29 May 2014
Alex Lowes: Ideally we’d have no electronics in WSBK
Alex Lowes: “In an ideal world, we would have no electronics in WSBK. We would just ride the bikes...
As the first BSB champion to step up to the World Superbike Championship since 2009, Alex Lowes says he has found himself tested by more than simply learning the tracks in his rookie WSBK season, the youngster claiming the biggest challenge has been getting his head around electronic aides.
Currently ninth in the overall standings, Lowes has shown flashes of speed in his maiden season thus far, not least his run to second place in the wet Assen and his competitive third place finish on home soil at Donington Park over the weekend.
However, as one of the few riders to make a direct step from BSB – which has limited the use of electronics – in recent years, Lowes has found this to be the steepest learning curve in his WSBK initiation.
When asked whether he thinks WSBK would benefit from adopting a simpler approach to BSB in an effort to place greater emphasis on the rider, Lowes is fully supportive of such a move.
“I am going to say that because I went well in BSB, but I think in BSB, if you put Shakey Byrne on a BMW, a Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha… he'd be at the front,” he told Crash.net. “In World Superbikes, put Joe Bloggs on the bike, they will get different results on different bikes.
“In an ideal world, we would have none. We would just ride the bikes. I know from British Superbikes that it is just as fun, if not more fun because you get more out of the suspension, more out of the chassis and more out of yourself because you're concentrating on your lines.”
For Lowes, the impact has been felt on race weekends where he hasn't had experience of the circuit, claiming he loses too much track time focusing on getting the electronics right.
“I have missed a lot of track time and sessions – not because of anything the team have done – but because of the electronics. If your GPS doesn't work, then you can't even ride it - you'll be three seconds slower because different corners are set at different parameters.
“I can't get my head around it; when I shut off the bike, it should stop, when I open it up, it should go. If I am doing that and the computer is telling it to do something else, it is wrong.
“Now, every single debrief we have is about electronics, so a lot can come down to what your electronics are doing. Don't get me wrong, the guys that are winning would still win; Tom Sykes would still win on a Kawasaki in BSB, Johnny Rea on a Samsung Honda would still be at the front, but it would cheaper, more fun and more people at the front, which I think is better because we lose too much track time. If we are learning tracks, we can't afford to do that.”
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