Three consistent scores for Yamaha’s Alex Lowes on home ground not only kept him fourth overall but also drew him closer to his team-mate Michael van der Mark in the championship table. With Leon Haslam scoring a few more, Alex is now closer to his old English mate, but in a less championship-friendly way.
Only 19 points separate third, fourth and fifth – VDM, Lowes and Haslam, after eight rounds, so it is not just the leading duo that are duking it out.
After the final Donington race Lowes said of why it was so close – seven riders inside just over eight seconds of each other: “I was just sort of thinking about the end of the race because normally at Donington it is the last ten laps, after a lot of time spent on the side of the tyre, that it stretches.
“The start was not great and I had the setting of the bike quite soft on the front to try and help me under the throttle in the middle section of the lap. With a full tank of fuel I was a little bit slower and people were coming past me. But I felt quite good on the bike.
In the middle part I was behind Loris and I could see he was catching the guys so I relaxed a bit there and at the end when I saw the first two go away, I thought maybe that was too far. But when I saw Alvaro pass Leon, I tried to pass Loris quick and my pace was strong at the end.”
Lowes put it all out there at Donington, but maybe his one regret is not going forward a bit sooner. “Maybe if I could have got past Leon a little bit earlier – but like in Misano when I was stuck behind him for about 15 laps – he is so hard to pass, that Kawasaki for us, it was tough for me.
“It was a great race and I am good friends with Leon so it was nice to have a little battle. Yesterday I was happy to have fifth in such a slippy and strange race and the six or seven lap race today was a strange one as well, so not really a normal weekend.
I am disappointed not to be on the podium because I think I had the pace.”
Lowes aggress that the 12th place to top rider fight is now rock hard, and getting harder every weekend, especially now with a good rider and team set-up like Loris Baz and team.
“I think it is goof for Loris to come in and they use different brakes and things, so it shows how good a job the guys at Yamaha have done with the bikes for those guys to be able to come in.
“In the changes of direction down Craner Curve he was making me feel like I could not ride! Michael the same because they are so tall that in those parts of the track, it is unreal really.
“It is great to see, and I am happy for them. It would be nice to have ten Kate back with a big sponsor and two riders. We need 18 good riders, bikes and teams. And we know Loris has won races before.”