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Untimely Exit for Lowes at Rain Soaked Sepang

Pata Yamaha 051516

The Malaysian wet season made itself known at the Sepang International Circuit this afternoon as heavy rain interrupted proceedings for the final day of MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship competition. Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK rider Alex Lowes ran competitively on his YZF-R1 around the saturated track running a strong sixth place until a high-side at turn 12 ended his run early.

Running sixth for the opening lap of the concluding contest, Lowes continued to hold the front group as the race began before suffering with rear-grip issues and dropping to ninth on the fourth revolution. Using the ensuing five laps to regroup, the British rider commenced his comeback on lap nine, increasing his pace and returning to his opening position of sixth by lap 12. Continuing to close the gap to the top five on the following lap, a high-side into the entry of turn 12 resulted in Lowes’ early retirement from race two, requiring treatment by the circuit’s medical staff. Suffering a fracture to his left clavicle, he will return to the UK tonight, for further assessment in the coming days.

Alex Lowes
Race: DNF / -4 Laps. Championship: 9th / 70 points

“I really struggled from the start of race two with rear grip coming out of the corners compared to the guys around me. I tried my best to perform as well as I could, using different lines and changing my body position to compensate, and then with about six laps to go I tried to push a bit more. I actually managed to make some good passes and was looking at another top five finish but then ultimately I tried a bit hard for the grip I had and paid the price for it. It was quite a heavy crash and I’m in quite a bit of pain but I just need to get myself fixed up and hopefully be back as soon as possible.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal

“A very disappointing end to a largely positive weekend here in Sepang. Having been so fast in the wet at Assen we hoped that we would have a good opportunity in the extreme wet conditions this afternoon but unfortunately we weren’t able to provide Alex with as much rear grip as everybody would have liked on this very different Sepang circuit layout and surface. As always Alex applied himself 100% to achieve the best result possible, and having learnt to maximise his potential was going forward and another decent result was on the cards. The accident was extremely unfortunate and whilst Alex describes it as his mistake, and perhaps as a team we could have chosen a better setting for the YZF-R1, ultimately you also need a bit of luck in racing and it seems to be rolling against us pretty heavily at the moment. Let’s see how Alex, and indeed Sylvain are at the end of next week and hope that we can represent ourselves well at Donington Park in a fortnight’s time.”