British rider Alex Lowes took his first podium of the season at Donington Park and three top-six finishes for first time in 2022
With the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship descending onto Donington Park for the Prosecco DOC UK Round, many riders were enjoying a home round including Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who duly delivered his highest-scoring round of the 2022 season in front of his home fans. Lowes showed strong pace from track action starting on Friday and converted that into three top-six finishes including his first podium of the season.
Lowes went head-to-head with Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in the closing stages of Saturday’s Race 1 with the pair engaging in a thrilling battle for third place, which Lowes won as he got underneath Redding going into the right-hander of Turn 2 before pulling a gap on his compatriot. It was Lowes’ first podium of the year and his first since Magny-Cours last season, while it was also his 30th in WorldSBK and his 10th with Kawasaki since joining at the start of 2020.
On Sunday, Redding and Lowes battled it out again for third place with Redding this time coming out on top before Lowes dropped behind Championship leader Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) on the final lap, finishing the 10-lap race in fifth place. Lowes, in Race 2, was close to Redding again with the pair almost inseparable across the three races; with Lowes finishing in sixth place. Lowes picked up 31 points at Donington Park, the most of any round this season.
Reacting to his strong home weekend, Lowes said: “A good weekend. We started off strongly. As the temperature came up, we struggled for a bit of performance. I’ve enjoyed the weekend. To be here in England, in the sunshine, there’s been a lot of fans out on the famous Craner Curves banking. It’s been a pleasure to ride. Obviously, I would like to have done better in Race 2; I struggled a little bit but overall it’s been a positive weekend for us.”
Lowes sits seventh in the Riders’ Championship standings following the UK Round, only 18 points behind Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) in fourth place. Between Locatelli and Lowes is Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Iker Lecuona (Team HRC), with the battle for fourth place in the standings heating up over the course of WorldSBK’s visit to Donington Park.
Discussing Race 2 specifically, Lowes said: “I struggled a bit more with the front. On Saturday, although the lap times dropped a bit, I was still able to brake well and get the bike to the apex. On Sunday afternoon, I think the wind was a bit different and maybe the temperatures were slightly higher. I was having some big slides on the front and I couldn’t feel comfortable or find a rhythm in the second part of the race. I was fighting the bike a little bit. It’s so close now in WorldSBK that if you’re 10 seconds off at the end of the race, you’re just in the top six. It’s nice to be involved in such close racing! If you haven’t got that feeling, you find yourself dropping back too quickly. It’s been a good weekend, I’ve enjoyed it and we know the areas we need to improve when the track temperature rises.”
Watch the battle unfold in 2022 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!