Lowes delights at Donington

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki racer Alex Lowes thrilled the home fans today with a podium in the opening eni FIM Superbike World Championship race at Donington Park

Lowes consolidated a quick start on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R by aiming straight for the front, taking the lead before the first lap was completed and holding it for two revolutions before a battle between Kawasaki’s Loris Baz and Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli relegated him to third. Mid-race saw the locally-based rider battling for second on a number of occasions before settling in to a rhythm, and a comfortable third place. Race two saw Lowes consolidate his grid place in the early stages, running fourth for the opening laps before a coming together with Aprilia’s Marco Melandri on lap five. Picking his bike up the British racer re-joined at the back of the field, and maintaining his original pace, he began the task of cutting this way through. With a stunning ride in-front of the cheering home crowd – even taking two riders at once on lap 14 – Lowes finished the race in an impressive ninth place to score seven valuable championship points, setting the fastest lap of the race and recording the highest speed trap of all riders for good measure. Eugene Laverty had a similar battle in the day’s second outing. Falling on the same lap, just moments after his teammate, the Irishman battled his Suzuki GSX-R from 22nd to secure 13th, and three points, at the line. After a promising start, Laverty leaves Donington with little to show for the weekend’s hard work – a crash also cutting short his first race at lap five – but will re-group for the next Championship outing in Sepang in a fortnight’s time. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes stole the show with a double victory as a rain-hit Donington Park gave way to a pleasant and sun-filled afternoon of racing for the 30 thousand spectators. Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will now look to prepare for the forthcoming flyaway race at Sepang, in Malaysia on the 8th June. Alex Lowes: “Race one was good, I struggled a bit at the end, but the start and leading my first World Superbike race was great! It’s nice for the team at the home race as well, so I’m really pleased with that. I am disappointed with the second race. The bike improved a lot, we had made some good changes – so thanks to Lez for that – I had good pace and I could’ve had another podium. I tried my best and got a ninth place, pushing really hard right to the end even though my bike was badly damaged. We’ll move on with the confidence gained this weekend as we have proved we can run at the front. My starts were better and I mixed it in with the top boys so I’m looking forward to the rest of the year, I’ve got some solid results now and I can’t wait for Sepang!” Eugene Laverty: “The tough run continues. Race one we were looking strong but I made a mistake, through the chicane I dug my knee into the grass and it ripped me from the bike and I had a huge crash. In the second race your guess is as good as mine! I was just cruising because I needed to stay on-board to get a decent finish, and suddenly I lost the front. It’s disappointing because the potential is so good.” Paul Denning- Team Manager: “It’s been an impressive weekend‘s work for Alex, his crew and for the Voltcom Crescent GSX-R. The first race was exactly the right balance between pushing hard when he needed to and settling for a fantastic podium at the end of the race. Race two was a huge disappointment but a better performance in many ways. The accident was pretty much unavoidable, and with a heavily damaged bike – which in most circumstances a rider would call unridable – clawed his way back from dead last to ninth place and even on the last lap of the race was the fastest rider on track. Race two was a definite podium at worst and a hard fight for the win at best, it didn’t happen but that shouldn’t detract from what was a stunning day’s work. “The story for Eugene was very different unfortunately. We’ve had a difficult run over the last few weeks and the potential we’ve seen in practice hasn’t translated into results. The starts weren’t a problem today, we got away and soon battled through to the front group but mistakes in both races meant that Eugene wasn’t able to capitalise. We will go to Malaysia with the target of rebuilding Eugene’s confidence, finding the sweet spot in the bike for him and capitalising on the obvious potential.” Donington – eni FIM World Superbike Championship – Race One: 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 34’23.929; 2. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) +1.538; 3. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +6.394; 4.Marco Melandri (Aprilia) +11.875; 5.Chaz Davies (Ducati) +14.514; DNF EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) Donington – eni FIM World Superbike Championship – Race Two: 1. Sykes 34’14.134; 2. Baz +3.678; 3. Guintoli +7.376; 4. Davide Giugliano +10.827; 5. Davies +15.140; 9. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +41.465; 13. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +1’00.751; World Championship Classification: 1. Sykes 185; 2. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 159; 3. Baz 159; 4. Guintoli 148; 5. Davies 109; 9. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) 73; 10. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) 65; - See more at: http://www.voltcom-crescent-suzuki.com/lowes-delights-at-donington/#sthash.rQSDbK11.dpuf