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Strong Sixth for Lowes in Imola Race Two

Pata Yamaha_050116

Alex Lowes got his final race at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Imola off to a flying start this afternoon as he fired his Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK YZF-R1 off the lights. Reaping the benefits of his impressive start the British rider inherited seven places from his 13th position on the grid, holding sixth from the opening lap. Circulating strongly with the group around him, Lowes maintained his position and consistent pace to the mid-race distance before gaining the advantage on the rider in front. Continuing to build his rhythm as his pace improved he set his fastest lap of the race – a 1’47.848 – on lap 11, but with tyre wear starting to feature the Yamaha rider knew he needed a more conservative race to the finish to consolidate his position. Lowes concluded the race in sixth, boosting his championship position back in to the top-10 with 59 points.

Sylvain Guintoli returned to the WorldSBK paddock after being released from the local Imola hospital late last night. Diagnosed with a broken left ankle – which required only plaster and no surgery – and bruised ribs, the Frenchman joined his team to watch the second race from the Pata Yamaha garage. Travelling home this evening, he will re-evaluate his injuries in the coming days before any decisions on his return to competitive action are made.

Alex Lowes
6th / +20.078 / 19 laps

“A better day than yesterday obviously! We made some changes to the bike overnight which gave me a better feeling and this helped me to do my best lap of the weekend after 11 laps of the race. I was struggling a little with consistency at the end but we learnt a lot and did a good job. We made some good steps forward compared to our opposition and our next target has got to be to start the weekends a little more competitively from the outset. Obviously it’s still a new bike and we are learning as we go along but I think a lot of what we have achieved here will be relevant as we head to other tracks and hopefully we can be a bit more competitive from the start of Friday.”

Sylvain Guintoli

“Of course this is a disappointing situation. The positive is that it could have been a lot worse because the crash was actually a really big impact. In that respect the injuries are not that bad compared to the crash, but we have to understand why this happened so we can move forward and concentrate on the future. The ankle is broken and I am very bruised because I came down hard, but despite that I feel quite good. My ribs are very bruised which is the painful bit but we just have to see how I will recover now and see in a couple of days if we can go for Malaysia.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal

“A far more positive day for the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team than yesterday, firstly because Sylvain was able to leave hospital and join us here at the track, looking a lot healthier and in less pain. Let’s see how the next couple of days go and what the full detailed diagnosis of the ankle injury is before we make any decisions for Malaysia.

“The wet conditions in warm up didn’t help us make any assessment of the changes the team had made from yesterday’s race for Alex but the race distance result clarifies that we’ve moved in the right direction. Alex had an incredible start from 13th on the grid and made some awesome passes in the first lap to get up to sixth but what was more important was his ability to keep moving forward, set his best time of the race on lap 11 and maintain a lot more consistency towards the end than we’ve seen in recent races. We knew Imola would be a tricky track so to make this progress after an extremely difficult Friday and Saturday morning is encouraging for the future.”