Alex Lowes says Pata Crescent Yamaha's frustrations in Aragon were all part of the steep learning curve to get the new machine up to speed in World Superbikes.
The Lincolnshire rider and team-mate Sylvain Guintoli pulled off a surprise by putting both factory-supported Yamahas on the front row during qualifying at the Spanish circuit but after each rider suffered issues and heavy tyre degradation the pair gradually dropped down the order as they were unable to match their race pace to the single lap speed.
Lowes suffered two tricky blasts off the line in each race but recovered in the second race to take ninth, just ahead of Guintoli, and hopes he and the team can learn from the problems and recover next time out at Assen.
“I've learnt a lot on the bike this weekend and feel I've made a step forward in terms of my riding the YZF-R1,” Lowes said. “The second race, apart from a few problems at the start - which as a team we need to learn from - I actually rode very well. We had some small goals in terms of lap times if the race was in similar conditions to Saturday, which it was, and I managed to reach those goals. My second half of the race performance was also much better so plenty of positives.”
The 2013 British Superbike champion has reiterated his comments that the team is still building on the R1's potential during its comeback year in WSBK and can take optimism from his and Guintoli's performance in qualifying.
“Obviously the results are not where they need to be but we're learning, it's only our third race weekend on the bike and it only would have taken a couple of little things to go our way and it would have been a different result,” he said. “It may not show on paper but really it's the best weekend we've had and we're a bit closer to the podium fight so I'm looking forward to Assen."