Interview: Alex Lowes
Third-place finisher within the 2019 World SuperBike Championship, Alex Lowes is buying and selling the blue of Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Crew for Kawasaki Racing Crew WorldSBK’s inexperienced subsequent season.
“I wish to attempt to problem for the World SuperBike Championship correctly and be a correct contender to Johnny Rea,” stated Lowes, who hit the rostrum a career-high 9 instances in 2019. “Jonathan gained the title for the fifth time in a row. Clearly, he’s probably the greatest SuperBike riders ever, so we have to strive hunt him down and cease him from successful.”
After 4 years with the highly-competitive Pata Yamaha WorldSBK outfit, Lowes will crew with five-time WorldSBK Champion Rea. The ultimate races of the season now completed and dusted, Lowes will now let the WorldSBK good instances roll on a 2020 Kawasaki Racing Crew ZX-10RR.
“It type of got here out of nowhere,” he stated. “In the midst of August, Alex Hodgson, he manages me nonetheless, he referred to as me up someday and stated, ‘You’ll by no means guess who I had on the cellphone.’ The decision was from Kawasaki to see what we had been doing subsequent yr and if my contract was up or not. It simply went from there, actually. Clearly, in the event you might select any bike on the grid, you’d determine to experience on this crew. It’s a dream transfer for me and hopefully we will take a step ahead within the outcomes.”
Additionally surprised by Lowes’s transfer to Kawasaki was latest Yamaha teammate Michael Van Der Mark, who was not shy about letting the world understand how impressed he was with Lowes’s season.
“The factor with Yamaha was that they needed me to remain, however they needed me to maneuver sideways to one of many new groups,” defined Lowes. “I’d have most popular to remain within the manufacturing unit crew, however the Kawasaki alternative got here alongside. It’s a logical step for me, and I’m actually enthusiastic about that. And going again to Yamaha, I go away on good phrases with these guys. We had a fantastic few years and I’ve actually loved being a part of it. Generally it may be good to make somewhat little bit of a change.
“This yr on the Yamaha we had some actually sturdy factors – particularly the turning of the bike in lengthy corners,” continued Lowes. “At Qatar on the final race I used to be following Rea for 10 or 11 laps within the first race and observed I could have to alter my model somewhat bit from how I’ve been using the Yamaha. I feel it’s going to swimsuit them. I’m getting to see how the bike is. I’ll experience the Kawasaki subsequent week, which will probably be in Aragon. I’m solely guessing from what I see from following the bike on the monitor, however the bike definitely seems on good type, that’s for positive. It’s going to good to be beginning there and not likely realizing the Kawasaki crew guys too nicely and having to get to know them extra and get to know the bike. It’s a contemporary begin that I’m wanting ahead to.”
And of Rea?
“We’ve been racing towards one another a very long time,” Lowes stated. “Johnny and I’ve been doing this for lots of years now. Clearly, he’s the benchmark on the minute in Superbike. What he has completed within the final 5 years has been unbelievable. It’s actually one thing else. Subsequent yr I’ll clearly be on the identical machine as him and it’ll be good to see how he has been capable of do it and be so dominant in World Superbike. Hopefully I can study a number of issues and provides him somewhat little bit of a tough time after a number of rounds.”
As Lowes referenced, 2020 World Superbike testing will start later this month at Jerez. Becoming a member of Rea and Lowes on the check will probably be Chaz Davis and Scott Redding of Aruba.it Racing Ducati; Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlioglu of Pata Yamaha; Alvaro Bautista with the brand new Honda crew; and Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty of the BMW Motorrad group. When requested about how he’ll method the approaching season, Lowes was fast reply about his 2020 grasp plan.
“It’s fairly easy, actually,” he stated. “Yearly I have a look at what I’d completed the yr earlier than and attempt to enhance on that. For 2020, I additionally wish to perceive some issues that I can enhance on myself. This yr clearly there are numerous open ends for me as a result of I’ve not ridden the brand new bike but and don’t know the brand new crew but, however I anticipate to work actually onerous this winter. There are two assessments this winter – one in Aragon and one at Jerez. I plan to place loads of laps in with the fellows and be able to be difficult from the entrance come Philip Island.
“Now I anticipate myself to problem for the rostrum each single weekend. We will even have to work on what extra we will do end within the championship when it comes to difficult Johnny. It’ll depend upon how briskly I get used to the bike. I imagine in myself. Truthfully, I really feel pretty relaxed about all this. It’s unusual, actually. I’m simply excited to get began.
“2020 goes to be an enormous yr for World Superbike. Have a look at Bautista this yr. He was superb the primary 4 or 5 rounds. He was successful fairly simply, however then he had a harder second half of the yr. Ducati have had such a high velocity benefit this yr. You may even clearly see that on tv and he was using the bike completely to make use of that benefit. Honest play to him. Subsequent yr he’s shifting to Honda and that can fascinating to see what the bike is like over there. Hopefully it’s aggressive, as a result of we would like the racing on the entrance to be as shut as doable. It’s all going to be very fascinating to see.”