Alex Lowes: “Jonathan Rea moved on, the dynamics have changed”

Alex Lowes joined by Axel Bassani at Kawasaki for WSBK 2024, while Sam Lowes joins Marc VDS Ducati

Alex and Sam Lowes, Jerez WorldSBK test, 24 January
Alex and Sam Lowes, Jerez WorldSBK test, 24 January

Alex Lowes can establish himself as Kawasaki’s leader in the absence of Jonathan Rea when the World Superbike 2024 season kicks off this weekend.

The grid has a much-changed feel this year with Rea at Yamaha and Toprak Razgatlioglu at BMW.

Lowes, in his fifth year at Kawasaki, welcomes ex-Ducati rider Axel Bassani as his new teammate in place of Rea.

But Lowes will work with Pere Riba, Rea’s former crew chief. And Marcel Duinker, who previously was Lowes’ crew chief, is now assigned to Bassani.

“It’s been interesting to work with Pere Riba,” Lowes said ahead of the season-opening Phillip Island round.

“Obviously, Jonathan moved on at the end of last year, so the dynamics have changed in the team a little bit.

“The winter was spent trying to get to know each other and trying to get more out of myself and the package.

“Any teammate you’ve got, you try to work together to give the team the best chance of being competitive.

“Axel’s come in from some fantastic years on the Ducati; he finished sixth in the world last year, so he did a better job than me!

“He’s trying to prove himself in a factory team and brings the knowledge from the Ducati.

“He’s helping as well; he’s been a great teammate. He believes in himself a lot and it’s going to be a nice dynamic in the team.”

Sam Lowes has moved into WSBK this year, with Marc VDS Ducati, after exiting Moto2.

“It’s been a nice pre-season,” Sam said.

“I’m excited and proud of this moment. It’s a big thing for me to get here.

“I had a lot to learn and still do, coming into this weekend with the format, the setting of the bike and how to race the bike, and it’s going to be a different race here with many things to learn but I’m positive.

“I feel like I’m a little bit more competitive than what I anticipated.

“I think we can look at this season in a good way.

“I want to get into the season before making a big statement about my goals, but I feel like I can be competitive and fight for the top five and the podium and then see where we are.”

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