Alex Lowes clinches first podium of the 2021 WorldSBK campaign after an intense battle with Toprak Razgatlioglu. 

Lowes made a great start from the front of the second row to slot in just behind team-mate Jonathan Rea.

The two Kawasaki riders instantly started to gap the group behind and looked on course for a comfortable one-two. 

However, Lowes encountered some issues at the halfway stage of the race and fell into the grasp of Razgatlioglu and Chaz Davies.

Once the Yamaha rider got ahead, Lowes was able to stabilise himself and then mount a challenge late on. 

A charge that saw him pip Razgatlioglu over the start finish line. Lowes said: "Before the race I didn’t know what to expect. We’ve obviously tested a lot here but the conditions have changed. So you don’t really know and there’s always that excitement of the first race. 

"I felt quite good at the start, I got a good start, stayed with Jonathan [Rea], but after a few laps I encountered some big problems on the front. I had two or three big slides. 

"I just thought to myself ‘it’s the first race of the year’, and I saw I had a bit of a gap. I knew they were gonna catch me because I decided just to be smooth in the middle (of the race), and I was thinking when somebody passes me ‘just try to stay with them’ and use them to fight until the end of the race."

On various occasions Lowes used the better rear grip of his Kawasaki to challenge Razgattlioglu, but the 24 year-old’s immense braking was making it extremely difficult. 

"Then when I saw it was Toprak [Razgatlioglu], I thought ‘oh great!’, because I know what he’s like on the brakes, but we had a really good battle,” added the former BSB champion. 

"Some parts he was faster and some parts I was faster. I could see in the last three laps he was spinning a lot so I didn't want to pass him before the last corner, as he was turning better and was going to switch me. 

"I decided to wait on the outside, be a little bit patient and then get a bit of a run onto the straight."