Alex Lowes says his Crescent Pata Yamaha squad has been given fresh optimism heading to Malaysia after equalling his season best result of sixth place in race two at Imola.
The lone factory Yamaha rider battled on after his team-mate Syvlain Guintoli sustained a broken ankle and heavy bruising on his back and chest in a nasty high side crash in qualifying at Imola.
After an underwhelming 11th place finish in race one Lowes and his crew worked on finding consistent race pace and were rewarded with the British rider matching his best finish of the year, his sixth place from race one in Thailand.
"We made some changes to the bike overnight which gave me a better feeling and this helped me to do my best lap of the weekend after 11 laps of the race,” Lowes said. “I was struggling a little with consistency at the end but we learnt a lot and did a good job.
“We made some good steps forward compared to our opposition and our next target has got to be to start the weekends a little more competitively from the outset.”
Thanks to his sixth place Lowes has jumped above his side-lined team-mate and into tenth in the World Superbike riders' championship.
The 2013 British Superbike champion is optimistic the progress made in race two at Imola will be something the team can lean on as it gets up to speed with the Yamaha YZF-R1 having switched from Suzuki machinery over the winter.
“Obviously it's still a new bike and we are learning as we go along but I think a lot of what we have achieved here will be relevant as we head to other tracks and hopefully we can be a bit more competitive from the start of Friday," he said.