2017 WorldSBK Thailand - Chang International Circuit
Fourth In Race Two Wraps up Thailand For Pata Yamaha And The YZF-R1
Alex Lowes scored strongly in the second race at the Chang International Circuit this afternoon, taking fourth place at the flag and with it fourth place in the championship standings after two rounds. His Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK team mate Michal van der Mark ran out of fortune on Sunday after his good showing in the opening race on Saturday, retiring after a technical issue intervened.
After the first planned 20-lap race was red-flagged due to oil on the track, the final full-point race was run over 16 laps of the 4.554km long circuit in Thailand. Thanks to his pace, and consistency from his machine, Lowes ran in fourth position throughout. He had made some set-up changes to his R1 after the first attempted race but found them a little less to his liking and he ended up in a lonely fourth place, ten seconds from the winner.
It was a day of tough luck for van der Mark, especially after finishing in fifth place and top Yamaha rider in race one. After the red flag, when returning to the box, an oil leak was evident on the bike. In the given 10 minutes before the race restart the team was not able to fully determine the reason for the leak and decided, for safety reasons, to not let Michael re-enter the track.
In the championship itself Lowes is fourth with 49 points, five points ahead of the rider immediately behind. Michael is now eighth, having been up to sixth place on Saturday after race one.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Rider
"Overall it was a good weekend for me. The team did a great job with the bike! I didn't have the best first two or three laps so I lost the connection with the front group when Eugene Laverty passed me but I managed to get past him again, but the front group were just too fast. Perhaps if I would have been there at the start, I could have challenged them a bit more. The two flyaway races have gone well for me overall, and it has been a solid start of the season. I feel confident for Aragon. There is still a lot I can improve in myself and there are things the team can improve on the bike, so we can go away for a couple of days rest and then start working toward the next race."
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Rider
"We had a technical problem with the bike in race two, which was a pity after all our good work. In the morning warm up we tried something on the bike set-up but I was not so keen on it so we went back to a set up almost similar to what we had yesterday. Then we had a red flag. It was a shame because yesterday was really good. I had a feeling that today would be the same, or even better, for both Alex and myself, but that is racing. At least this weekend I was fast from the start and hopefully we can continue this kind of form in Moorland Aragon."
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Principal
"Despite the technical fault for Michael this afternoon we have to look at the Thai weekend in context. We can conclude it was another positive step forward for Yamaha's WorldSBK project as well as for the performance of the team and the YZF-R1. We feel extremely sorry for Michael, he and his crew deserved more after a fantastic race yesterday, but this is motorsport. We have to accept that problems can occur and when they do we learn from them. Thanks to Michael for his very professional attitude, this is much appreciated by everybody.
Alex rode a very good race today even though he hasn't felt quite fully at home with the setting all weekend. I think the crew improved just a little bit more for this afternoon and especially the first part of the race before the red flag it looked like a podium challenge might be possible. The restarted race wasn't as easy in the first couple of laps and a gap to the front three developed that was impossible to pull back. Thanks to everybody at Yamaha for their support and partnership and to the crew for all their hard work. It has been a solid start to the season."