WorldSBK star Alex Lowes is gunning for an unprecedented fifth straight Yamaha win at the 2019 Suzuka Eight-Hours but says the past doesn’t mean it’s a dead cert, the team are starting from zero because it’s an all-new challenge this weekend.
Lowes will have his Superbike team-mate and rival Michael van der Mark in the pit with him again as well as Japanese legend Kats Nakasuga and the Derby rider believes that so long as all three are enjoying themselves, they can win again.
“Our rivals have come back stronger each year, but we’ve still won the race. But this year is this year. We have to forget last year and remember that we’re starting from zero in an all-new challenge this year,” said Lowes.
“We have to do whatever we can, always be positive, and be confident but we also have to enjoy ourselves. If we can do that, I think we can definitely win.”
Suzuka is all about finding the best race setup compromise between three riders who are different sizes, weights and have completely requirements from the bike, but this trio have done it three times before.
In the World Superbike Championship, I have an R1 all to myself but even then, we almost never find the perfect setup. We have to make compromises to make it all work within the amount of time we have.
“So in the Eight-Hours with several riders sharing the same bike, I have to change my approach even more. I can’t put myself first because we have to find the solution that works best for the whole team. When the team comes together towards the same goal, that’s when you can get a good result. That’s what the 8 Hours is about.
“I mean, Michael is my teammate but he’s also my rival on track normally, so getting to work together to fight for the win? Of course it’ll be fun! Then add in that this year we’re running the special TECH21 colours. I’m really proud to be a part of it.”