Alex Lowes: Confidence in the front, stopping the bike, couldn’t fight…

Despite claiming his first podium of the 2022 WorldSBK season and producing another brilliant Superpole lap at Donington Park, Alex Lowes was left disappointed after race two due to losing ‘confidence in the front, I couldn’t stop the bike, I was sliding early on’.
Alex Lowes, Kawasaki WorldSBK Donington Park
Alex Lowes, Kawasaki WorldSBK Donington Park

His best overall performance of the 2022 WorldSBK season thus far, Donington Park was a weekend where Lowes managed to claim a race one podium after getting the better of Scott Redding in the closing stages. 

But as was the case for team-mate Jonathan Rea, high track temperatures were just one of the issues that proved too much for Kawasaki to overcome, specifically during Sunday’s double-header.

In Misano we saw Kawasaki struggle compared to Yamaha and Ducati when track conditions ramped up significantly, and Donington Park was another case of that.  

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The knock-on effect it had provided Lowes with further troubles in race two, as a lack of confidence with the front of his ZX10-RR was something the British rider had not experienced all weekend.

After narrowly missing out on a second podium in the Superpole race, Lowes detailed the exact problems he faced: "In race two I tried a little, very, very small change on the front of the bike which I don’t think really made a difference. But I just didn’t have the confidence that I had in the front all weekend. 

"I think the temperatures jumped up and I couldn’t stop the bike. I was sliding the front early on and it made the race a little bit boring. I was a bit lonely really. 

"I had no speed to pass; I tried passing Rinaldi early on and he came straight back past on the start-finish [straight] and then I was just hanging in there. It was the best I could do. It’s a shame really because we seem to really drop off when it gets to that 45 degrees. 

"Johnny [Rea] in the first ten laps obviously started up the front whereas I was eighth I think, at turn one. He was able to get away at the front, but even as amazing as he is around this track, he struggled for pace towards the end when you look compared to guys like Rinaldi and Bautista. It’s hard to understand really.  

Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Donington Park WorldSBK, 16 July
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Donington Park WorldSBK, 16 July

"Looking at the bike in practice and the pace we had, it’s disappointing. I did a race run in FP2 and was really fast, was really fast in the morning, but when it’s hot we’re lacking something. 

"In Misano it was the same and Johnny and I couldn't fight. The other guys go forward and it’s a bit frustrating." 

‘I got beaten up’ - Lowes gutted not to make it back-to-back WorldSBK podiums

In a repeat of race one, Lowes began to apply pressure to Redding with just a few laps remaining of the Superpole race. 

But with pressure also coming from Alvaro Bautista behind, a failed attempt at making the move stick on Redding resulted in Bautista pinching fourth away from the Kawasaki rider on the final lap. 

Lowes added: "I got a bit beaten up at the end of the Superpole race. I was feeling quite good and had a go at Scott [Redding]. I made a few good passes but when Scott passed me it put me wide and then Alvaro passed me. 

Scott Redding and Alex Lowes, Donington Park WorldSBK race1, 16 July
Scott Redding and Alex Lowes, Donington Park WorldSBK race1, 16 July

"So I went from feeling quite good with four laps to go, thinking I would get on the podium, to then getting beaten up and finishing fifth and being quite disappointed at the end of that race. 

"That can happen in racing and those guys did a good job. I was close to the podium and that was acceptable really."

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