"My fault, I’ve apologised to him… Don’t need to be kicked when you’re down" – Lowes, Rea on Race 2 clash

Tuesday, 23 April 2024 05:22 GMT

The pair came to blows at Turn 1 with Alex Lowes holding his hands up for the incident, with no bad blood between the former teammates

Sunday at the TT Circuit Assen was a mixed bag for Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), with another MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship rostrum added to his collection in the Tissot Superpole Race before a crash with Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) in Race 2 ended his race and dropped his former teammate down the order and out of the points-paying positions. It was Lowes’ first retirement of the season after he’d enjoyed a strong start including at the Pirelli Dutch Round.

STARTING ON A HIGH: third place in the Superpole Race

Lowes started the Superpole Race from fifth on the grid but was soon in the podium fight. He started the final lap in fourth place, behind Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), but ended it in third. He passed the #87 at the final chicane to claim his third rostrum of the season and start his Sunday in style, pulling off the typical Assen overtake.

Reflecting on the podium, Lowes said: “We used the SCQ tyre and obviously there wasn’t much dry track time this weekend. I felt great at the start, I was able to make some passes and the speed on the bike was good. Like everybody, I think the tyre didn’t quite last. I was having a good battle with Jonathan, and I just managed to look after the tyre enough to do the famous Assen last corner attack on Remy. It was nice to be back on the podium and a solid way to start the day. I think he expected me to not be there, he passed me quite easily a couple of laps before. He opened the corner right up and it would’ve been rude not to have a go!”

FINISHING IN THE GRAVEL: a collision with Rea ends their hopes

After securing a front-row start for Race 2, Lowes was hoping to utilise that for another podium. With rain starting to fall in the early stages of the race, it provided another layer of complexity to the battle, and Lowes was close to the podium fight. However, he came down at Turn 1 after a crash with Rea, with the #22 forced to retire while his former teammate was able to continue albeit well out of the points, finishing in 19th.

Explaining what happened at Turn 1, Lowes said: “It wasn’t really an incident for him. I crashed up the inside trying to pass him. I could see he was dropping from the group a little bit and I struggled at the start on the SCX tyre, I couldn’t really get it going, but after three or four laps I felt strong, and I was going forward. I tried to pass into Turn 1. It’s a corner that really tightens up if you’re not careful you run wide, you can take both riders wide or leave the door open for the guy to pass back. I was trying to squeeze the brake a bit to make the apex. I crashed by myself and obviously, because I was in a position where I was trying to make the pass, he had nowhere to go. Nothing for him, my fault, I’ve apologised to him. He’s a good friend of mine. It was a mistake from me. I crashed and he had nowhere to go, sorry to him.”

REA’S VIEW: “Frustrated because you don’t need to be kicked when you’re down”

Six-time Champion Rea also gave his view, saying: “I was off the group. I lost the tow from Iannone, then Alex tried to make a pass at Turn 1. He stuck the pass, to be fair, but unfortunately for him he tucked the front right on the apex and I was just there so his bike collected mine. Down I went. I’m frustrated because you don’t need to be kicked when you’re down. It just feels like it’s hard to catch a break, but we can take some positives from the weekend.”

© Photos by Thomas Seidenglanz

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