PATA Yamaha rider Alex Lowes took his first ever world superbike race win at the Brno today as world champion Jonathan Rea retired after colliding with his Kawasaki team mate Tom Sykes on the third lap.
Starting from ninth on the grid, Rea was working his way through the pack when he was knocked off by Sykes on the third lap. With Sykes slipping off himself a few laps later, and Marco Melandri also taking an excursion through the gravel trap, the battle for the lead was handed to the resurgent Yamahas, with former British champion Lowes heading home Donington Park double winner Michael van der Mark.
Like Saturday’s race, which had seen Carole Nash-backed Rea take a record breaking 60thcareer win, the outing was relatively static, with Van der Mark unable to make a move on Lowes, who rode calmly to collect his first race win in the championship.
“The first thing I need to say is a massive thanks to Yamaha, to the team and especially Paul who believed in me and brought me here from BSB (British superbike championship). All the guys worked so hard to give me what I wanted on the bike. For me to win and Michael to come second for a Yamaha one-two is fantastic. On a personal level I’m so happy, Donington was hard to take, not to take anything away from Michael but it was tough for me to accept as I wanted to be the one to get the first win for the team as I felt like I’ve put so much into the project. The bike worked really well for me today, I really enjoyed the race, which is not easy when it’s so hot and slippery! I focused on being as smooth and consistent as I could be and now I’m over the moon. A massive thank you to Yamaha, I feel honoured to be part of this project and now we need to keep trying to win more races!”
Behind the Yamahas, Chaz Davies got back on the podium in third to salvage some positives from his weekend. With Rea failing to score in race two, Davies surrendered just one point to his rival over the two races and is 65 points behind the Northern Irish rider in the standings. Van der Mark moves ahead of Sykesm into third, with the championship resuming in the USA in two weeks time, at the famous Laguna Seca circuit in California.