Alex Lowes makes it a Sunday double in drama filled Race 2

By February 25, 2024 WorldSBK

Alex Lowes makes it a Sunday double in drama filled Race 2

WorldSBK By February 25, 2024

Delayed starts, amended schedules, Toprak Razgatlioglu’s BMW retired, and then a red flag stoppage after an incident at Turn 11 from six-time World Champion that saw an amended schedule of an 11-lap sprint with no mandatory pit stop, and one of the best race passes for the win completed by Alex Lowes; The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round had it all!

 

The first start of Race 2 saw a strong start from Andrea Locatelli [Pata Prometeon Yamaha] when the lights went out at 5.15pm, who once again was one of few riders opting for the SC2 front tyre option across the grid. 

 

Drama first hit when Toprak Razgatlioglu’s BMW retired from the race, with the Turk’s machine blowing major smoke as he entered Hayshed on Lap 2, but luckily the train behind him weren’t effected by the incident.

 

As the race entered Lap 3, a major incident occurred for six-time World Champion Jonathan Rea [Pata Prometeon Yamaha], suffering a major crash at Turn 11 [who later posted on social media to say that he was ok, giving the cameras a thumbs up]. While unknown of the exact incident with no replay available, the camera’s quickly turned to Remy Gardner [GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team] who had a front tyre deflation. Communications later came through that Gardner’s tyre deflation was due to contact made with Rea’s machine. 

 

Luckily, Gardner was able to get his YZF-R1 back to the pits, with race being restarted once Rea had been taken to the medical centre for further check-ups; although, the Aussie would take part in the restarted race from last place on the grid.

RACE RESTART 

The restart saw a fresh grid, with Bautista now starting from Pole Position for the 11-lap sprint race.

 

Lights went out at 5.40pm and with no mandatory pit stop, it was more about conserving the tyre to last the entire race distance.

 

Alvaro bautista got his bike off to another great start to lead the race, and for the first time at the Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round we saw Michael Ruben Rinaldi [Team Motocorsa Racing] at the front, a rider who swapped from an SC1 front that he chose at the start of Race 2, to complete the restarted race with an SC2 front instead.

 

While Rinaldi was unable to maintain his podium position status, the race then turned into a 3-way battle between Alvaro Bautista, Alex Lowes and Andrea Locatelli.

 

With positions changing nearly every corner, the talking point that will stand for quite sometime is the Last Lap battle that was seen between Alvaro Bautista, Alex Lowes and Andrea Locatellli. The duo closed in on one another dramatically on the last lap to make this a final lap showdown that the fans waited so eagerly for.

 

Andrea Locatelli, who was sitting in third position on the last lap, lined Alex Lowes up for a pass on the inside of Alex Lowes at Miller Corner, but wasn’t able to get his YZF-R1 settled down through the middle of the corner, resulting in a highside that further ruled the #55 machine out of the race.

 

The last lap talking points didn’t stop there, with Alex Lowes making possibly one of the best passes for a race lead in recent years. Showing major confidence in the tyre life left in his Pirelli’s.

 

The Superpole winner went around the outside of Alvaro Bautista on the entry of Lukey Heights and made the move stick, further defending his line through MG. Pulling everything out of his Kawasaki ZX-10RR, Lowes managed to hold off Bautista’s Ducati to bring home the final race win of the Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round. 

 

With all the excitement happening out the front, it’s to be mentioned that Danilo Petrucci was bumped up into third position across the chequered flag, after the unfortunate ending to Andrea Locatelli’s weekend.

 

Written by: Tayla Relph
Images by: Russell Colvin
Don’t miss a second of the action from the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round – 23 – 25th February 2024.
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