After witnessing one of his riders, Michal van der Mark score a double at Donington recently, it took just one more race meeting for Paul Denning’s other rider to come good at Brno.
Denning and Crescent Racing have had long-term faith in Lowes, having signed him as British Superbike Champion to what was then an official Suzuki WorldSBK squad, and then the official Yamaha return to WorldSBK in Pata colours soon after.
Drenched in Prosecco and with a big trophy in one hand, Denning said of his faith in Lowes, “Yes it had come good over the last 12 months. His consistent performances at the end of last year, with the end of the races always being so strong, and Alex always challenging for the podium.
“Taking it on the chin this year when it hasn’t been going for him, and grinding out the best result possible. Assen, sticking it on pole, and frankly speaking, unfortunately as a team we let him down in the races there. That should have been a lot more podium potential there. We have discussed it. By keeping working, doing the right things, keeping giving he right feedback to the engineers, trusting in your people and yourself the reward comes.”
The race that Lowes won was a weird one, but a difficult one for anybody to win; such were the slick track conditions and endless slides.
“An interesting race today, from a difficulty of riding point of view,” said Denning. “It was so hard to maintain a decent rhythm, so many mistakes, the track was like ice by the look of it. Alex and Michael both rode so maturely. We saw ex-World Champions falling down around them and the boys did the job.”
Denning was appreciative of Lowes attitude to his team-mate Michael van der Mark’s double win at Lowes’ one home track in the previous round, and saw his win straight afterwards in the Czech Republic as a timely reward.
“Alex was really genuinely happy for the team at Donington,” said Denning. “I cannot say he was happy for Michael because he wanted to be there himself but his appreciation of what the team had worked towards, and his reaction to Michael’s success, was really genuine and really appreciated by everybody.
“To be able to repay him with a much better bike than we gave him yesterday – Andrew and Michele and all the guys, and I have to mention Luca from Öhlins who has really working well – they gave him a better bike today.
“So it was teamwork. Alex understanding the bike and being patient, and not crashing it when it is not working perfectly, means we had a lot of information from yesterday, and a fifth place that we were not really excited about. But that gave us the platform to win today.”
Denning is aware that some top names never made it to the finish in race two to make a challenge, but said, “Even though Jonathan fell down and Tom fell down, it did not look like they had anything in the early laps anyway. The track was like ice and I think there was a limit on how fast you could go, and our guys were in the right place at the start. Alex was aggressive, Marco made a mistake, and away you go.”
Fifth in race one became a win in the second after some good work in the garage, said Denning in summation of how Lowes broke his win duck.
“Today we focused on giving Alex more mechanical grip – there was no grip – but we gave him more. We saw in warm-up on Sunday that the bike was probably half a second off what it was on Saturday morning, in terms of raw pace on a cooler track, but better for the race distance. That is what made the difference, and the guys made the right decisions.”