Alex Lowes: ‘We got the most out of the bike, which was the target’

Alex Lowes says there was not ‘a lot more we could do’ to fight for a WorldSBK podium in Race 1 at Phillip Island.

Alex Lowes, Race 1, Australian WorldSBK, 24 February
Alex Lowes, Race 1, Australian WorldSBK, 24 February

On the front row after an impressive qualifying, Alex Lowes produced a very good WorldSBK Race 1 for Kawasaki as he spent nearly the entire race inside the top five.

A race-long battle with Toprak Razgatlioglu ended with the latter finishing ahead of Lowes on circuit, however, a time penalty gave Lowes P4. 

“We got the most we could out of the bike, which was the target,” said Lowes. “I am really happy with how we managed the race but in the last sector of the circuit, the last two corners and onto the straight, I lost everything.

“Over 20-laps it was so hard to catch them back up. You can only go so fast into Turn One. But, in terms of how I was riding and how I was managing the bike, there was not a lot more we could do.

“To finish fifth over the line, and then fourth after a penalty was given to Toprak, means it was a good start to the year.

“The team did a good job, we had a clean pitstop and a clean race. I had some argy-bargy with Toprak - we know how aggressive he is - and I tried to pass him at the end. I did not know he had been given a penalty at that stage so I tried to cut back on him in the last corner.

“I was enjoying the battle with him to be honest. He hit me hard at Turn Four, and it took my hand off the handlebar. I knew it was Toprak.

“I enjoy racing with him, but every race you have two or three contacts. Today we had the pace we expected to have and maybe at the end of the first part of the race 1’28 lap times were a bit quicker than I expected.

“I have to be happy with the first race, I did the best I could, and we have two more tries on Sunday.”

Axel Bassani only 12th on Kawasaki debut 

Axel Bassani, Race 1, Australian WorldSBK, 24 February
Axel Bassani, Race 1, Australian WorldSBK, 24 February

A quiet race for the former Ducati rider ended with him finishing just under 12 seconds down on Lowes.

And the Italian was not the happiest following his first race in green, a race which saw him make contact with Remy Gardner, who fell as a result.

“I have not a lot to stay about Superpole but it was not so good,” said Bassani. “In the race I think I made a really good start but it was not easy to try to overtake some other riders.

“I made a mistake and put down Remy Gardner. It was not my intention, but it happened. After some laps my pace was good but then I had to do a long lap penalty and lost me a lot of time and four track positions.

“The first half of the race was really good but when I changed the tyre and went back out again it was more difficult to ride the bike. I had a lot of movement.

“We have to understand that because if we can ride the second half of the race like the first half of the race we can do a good job.”

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