During the coronavirus shutdown, Alex Lowes says he has opted to “switch off from bikes for two weeks” to stay mentally ready once the World Superbike season restarts.

The new factory Kawasaki rider came out as the best performer at the 2020 opener at Phillip Island with second place in Race 1, fourth place in the Sprint Race and a win in Race 2 to hand him the early points lead – the first time he’s achieved the feat in his career.

But with the coronavirus pandemic overtaking priorities, which has seen the postponement of effectively all major sport including the World Superbike championship, Lowes and the rest of the grid are forced to adjust into unfamiliar territory of waiting to return to racing without a certain timeframe in place.

As a result, Lowes says he has put racing to the back of his mind in the short term until he can plot a schedule which has him returning to racing as the clear target.

“To be honest, I decided in my head to switch off from bikes for two weeks. The most important thing at this stage is to be mentally fresh for when we start again,” Lowes told WorldSBK.com.

“When we know a little bit more, I’ll watch back the races from Phillip Island; also, my brother’s races with him. There are a few things with my riding that I want to improve that I’ll refresh my memory for when it’s closer to the time. If you start watching now, when we’ve got three weeks in self-isolation… You’d be a bit over it by the end of that.

“I’m just trying to use it as an opportunity to not look at the negative side or look at it selfishly, like ‘we’re victims because we can’t do anything and we want to be racing’.

“There’s a lot of people in the same situation, so I’m determined to be positive and make sure I’m prepared for when we start racing again, but also to set a good example and do the right thing.”

Like the rest of the world, Lowes is sticking to health authority rules while keeping himself occupied by completing gym work at home and playing golf under social distancing guidelines.

“I’m honestly quite lucky because my brother lives close by now. We have a small gym at home, I can still train every day and do something,” he said. “My wife’s got me doing a lot of jobs around the house, all the little jobs, putting shelves up and all that.

“I’ve also been practicing my golf. It’s quite close to the house. The clubhouse, restaurant and everything is closed, but you can sign yourself into the course in the pro shop and play, and you can still stick to all the social distancing guidelines we’ve currently got.

“Leon Haslam lives close by, so we’ve been playing as well. It’s something to get a bit of fresh air, really, and stop being completely stuck in the house. But we’ll need to wait and see what the government says about that, if we’ll be allowed to do it going forward.”

Lowes has also repeated the message to all fans to follow advice from health authorities until the coronavirus outbreak is under control.

“The biggest message I can say, wherever you are around the world, is this: Listen to the experts. Let’s do as we’re told from once, stay healthy and look after our loved ones, they’re the most important thing,” he said.

“Don’t worry about WorldSBK. From my side, I promise that whenever the season does kick off, we’re going to get some fantastic racing like we saw in Phillip Island. We’re going to be giving everything we’ve got.”

According to the current World Superbike calendar the next round is scheduled for April 17-19 at Assen but it is increasingly unlikely that will go ahead amid the coronavirus travel bans.

When the season does restart, Lowes will have a 12-point lead over nearest rival Scott Redding in the 2020 WorldSBK riders’ standings.

 

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