Alex Lowes was a shell-shocked figure as he was taken to the medical centre on the back of his scooter by his rider-helper Dave Ryan shortly after the end of a dramatic first race at Jerez.
He was a picture of dejection, a towel covering his injured hand and half covering his face as the scooter fought its way through the Bautista worshipping crowd at the paddock podium ceremony.
A ceremony he could have been part of. In third place he was knocked off by an ill-timed attempted pass on the very last corner, by four-time champion Jonathan Rea.
Lowes lost his left glove in the impact of the clash as Rea’s bike hit him behind the wrist. Lowes fell and suffered injuries to his hand and left shoulder, but says he intends to ride on Sunday.
Looking back at the accident for the first time, Lowes stated: “It is the first time I have seen the crash but I feel I was a little bit on the inside and he has obviously just made a mistake on the last lap. He has gone in too fast, you can see he is a little bit fast for the corner, and he made a mistake. It is racing, it happens. It does not help me know, I cannot get my points back – I can’t turn back the clock.”
Lowes, in typical fashion, absorbed his disappointment by looking forward to the next one. “So, I just need to focus on tomorrow try and improve the parts that I did not feel comfortable on the bike, be stronger and try to beat him. That would be the best way to make up for today.”
Rea said that he went to the Yamaha garage to apologise, and that he considers Alex one of the good guys in the paddock. “I am sorry for seeing Alex on the ground. Straight away, but in the heat of the moment not one of the smartest things to do, I tried to apologise outside the Yamaha box. But I was just getting screamed at. It was a little bit too hot.”
Rea’s final punishment, delivered hours after the end of race one, was a drop of one position to fourth on the day, and then start the next race from last place on the grid.