Lowes secures his first Superbike podium
Mandalika, Indonesia, March 13th 2023 - Alex Lowes took his first podium of the season, finishing third in the Sprint race, but the weekend in Mandalika was not kind to the Kawasaki riders. Jonathan Rea is now looking forward to the championship returning to Europe to get back to his winning ways.
After encouraging winter tests, Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes weren’t expecting such a complicated start to the season. The six-time world champion managed to limit the damage in Australia but suffered in Indonesia. In the Superpole, Rea was penalised for unintentionally obstructing Philipp Oettl. Forced to start from the third row, next to his team-mate and suffering, as were several other riders, from a stomach upset, Jonathan lost more places in a first corner ‘melee’. “It was a difficult day," remarked Rea on Saturday evening. “As if that wasn't bad enough, I lacked confidence in the front end throughout the first, fast part of the circuit. As soon as I put the bike on its side, going into a right-hand corner, I had a lot of movement and it was difficult to maintain my speed.” Lowes, meanwhile, complained of premature front tyre wear. The two Britons finished wheel-to-wheel in ninth and tenth place. Sunday was even more eventful. Lowes still managed to secure his first podium, finishing third in a Sprint race that was reduced to eight laps after being interrupted by his coming together with Loris Baz.
“Loris put his leg out under braking as I was passing him," commented Alex. “There was nothing I could do to avoid him. I'm really sorry he suffered from a broken ankle. I got up unhurt but my bike was destroyed and I had to start the second race with my spare bike and the tyres I had saved for Race 2. I was able to get a podium in the Sprint race before suffering in Race 2 with tyres that quickly wore out.” Alex Lowes finished thirteenth in the final race of the weekend, which was also interrupted after a crash that left two bikes on the track. Jonathan Rea was fourth in the sprint race and crashed on lap eight of Race 2. “This weekend in Mandalika has been very frustrating," admitted the six-time world champion. “Track grip changed a lot between Friday and Sunday and we never really managed to adapt our set-up to these conditions. The next race will be at Assen, a circuit that usually suits us well. We will have to do much better than we have done so far.”
|CATEGORY||RIDER||RACE 1||SPRINT RACE||RACE 2||CHAMPIONSHIP|
|Jonathan Rea||9th||4th||DNF||6th (44 points)|
|Alex Lowes||10th||3rd||13th||12th (22 points)|