Alex Lowes was left to reflect on a disastrous opening round of the World Superbike Championship after a luckless Sunday at Phillip Island. After looking so competitive through testing and practice, Lowes’ weekend was derailed by an FP4 accident and a series of technical problems on the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki.
After a first lap incident restricted him to ninth in race one, Lowes was forced to pull out of race two at the end of the warm-up lap and after so much misfortune, the Briton is already turning his attention to the next round in Thailand.
“I just don’t know what to say. Me and the team have put in so much work all week to have a strong package for today and from the very start of the warm-up session to the end of my second race, everything that could go wrong, did. It’s impossible to point the finger at anyone or anything, everyone has been putting in so much effort to support me and get the GSX-R in the front group and we managed that all week but today it fell apart. Right now I just feel flat but we’ll get back, get re-focused and rebuild for the second round of the Championship. There is still a lot of racing left to do!”
Randy de Puniet’s day wasn’t without its problems either with the injury-hit Frenchman denied a points finish in race one following contact with Leon Camier’s MV Agusta. The WSBK debutant salvaged seventh from the second race of the day but much like his teammate, de Puniet is already looking ahead to Thailand where he hopes to be back at full fitness.
“It was a horrible Sunday for me, I was in a lot of pain and the first race was a disaster. After six laps I was not able to ride because I had pain everywhere, plus arm pump, so it was impossible to brake or to accelerate, and I tried to manage a good position – I think I was ninth and should have been able to finish 10th. Unfortunately Camier hit me, I went straight on and finished 17th so I’m a little bit disappointed. I was worried again about my physical condition for race two but luckily I was able to manage it better, and I finished seventh. Until the middle of the race I was only four seconds from the lead but after that I started to struggle again, I tried to keep a good rhythm and finished seventh, which is a good result in this condition. Without the no score in the first race it would have been possible to be seventh in the Championship, I’m 11th which is a shame but after everything this week this is not so bad. Now it’s time for me to recover and get fit for Thailand. I want to thank the team for everything and also the Clinica Mobile for helping me to ride this weekend.”