Lowes out of Aragon round following knee surgery, replaced by KRT test rider Florian Marino

Thursday, 21 September 2023 11:09 GMT

The final third of the 2023 season is on the horizon but Alex Lowes will miss this weekend after a knee operation

After being forced out of the final two races at the previous MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship round in France, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) underwent an operation to remove the damaged meniscus from his left knee shortly afterwards. Despite this, the decision has now been taken to withdraw Alex from the Tissot Aragon Round. The team’s regular test rider, Florian Marino, will take over the second official Ninja ZX-10RR machine this coming weekend, lining up alongside Jonathan Rea. Action commences from the 22nd September until the 24th.

Talking about missing the Aragon Round, where he was strong before on Kawasaki machinery, Lowes stated: “After Magny-Cours, I took the tough decision to go to Barcelona to have surgery on my knee. The operation went well. Since then, I have been fully focused on my recovery and working as hard as possible. Physically, I feel good and in a position where I could ride. However, the team have decided the best option is to wait for Portugal next weekend. I respect their decision and switch my focus toward supporting Florian, Jonathan and the team, whilst improving myself in time for the next event in Portimao. It’s a shame because I showed some strong speed in the recent Aragon test and Magny-Cours weekend. They are behind us now, and it’s time to look forward and try to get on the podium again before the end of the 2023 season.”

With WorldSSP podiums and a WorldSBK points-scoring ride five years ago, Florian Marino looks forward to getting stuck in:. “First of all, I wish the best recovery to my friend and rider Alex Lowes. I know he will come back stronger and racing very soon. For me it’s a great opportunity as a test rider for KRT. I think this weekend will also help me to improve my understanding of the Kawasaki ZX-10RR and of course I can’t wait to work with the technical crew. Personally, I have no expectation, I’m just going to try to make the most of the opportunity for everyone involved. Thank you Kawasaki and Provec Racing for the trust!”

Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, wished Lowes a speedy recovery and looked ahead to the weekend: “We decided to make Alex rest at home for this round but he is training hard to be at 110% for the Portimao round. Just nine days after a knee operation, we didn't want to force his body into the stresses of racing, to let him recover correctly. We could keep one bike in the pit box for one race, but alongside KMC Japan we decide to give Florian a chance to race. He already has the test rider job for KRT, so he will run at Aragon and keep collecting data to develop the bike in real race conditions. It’ll be a good way to see the rhythm he is able to get to as he will keep working in the winter months to test items at the very top level.”

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