Just 0.007s denied Lowes a heroic debut win in Kawasaki colours, but he enjoyed the action and is keen to go one better on Sunday
Whilst one Kawasaki fell to ground, it was Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who rose to the occasion and stormed to a first podium of the season for his new team. Lowes started in eighth place but was a contender throughout, keeping pace with the leaders and even taking the lead briefly in the closing stages as he chased a career-first victory for Kawasaki on his debut for the Japanese manufacturer.
From the middle of row three, Lowes had his work cut-out but with action aplenty at the front of the field, Lowes was able to lap consistently and close in on those ahead. The Lincolnshire rider, who joins Kawasaki in place of Leon Haslam (Team HRC) for 2020, pulled off one of the most incredible moves of the year by passing both Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) and Toprak’s teammate Michael van der Mark at Turn 1. Come the end of the last lap, an audacious move at the final corner put Lowes in prime position for a slipstream battle to the line with Razgatlioglu, missing out by just 0.007s.
Speaking after the race, Lowes stated his feelings following a frantic first race of 2020: “It’s fantastic to get the first race for Kawasaki out the way, as I was a little bit nervous before the race because it was the first one with a new team. My pace was quite strong and the ZX-10RR was working really well.”
Lowes was part of a podium where the entire podium was made up of riders on new machinery. Lowes is also closing in on the 33rd all-time placing for number of podiums, whilst for the first time in his career, he is second in the Championship standings. Not a bad first day at the office for Lowes, and he states that he had a plan for victory on the last lap.
“Near the end of the race we had good grip and good pace and had a bit of a plan on the final lap, but then Scott passed me into Turn 4 and pushed me wide, and I was desperate to get back. I tried my best, but we came up a little bit short; I will try to improve the bike tonight and then see what we can do on Sunday!”
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