Alex Lowes secures first victory in four years after Phillip Island Superpole win

Alex Lowes secures first victory in four years after Phillip Island Superpole win

Alex Lowes seized his chance to sprint clear to victory and win his first race in four years in a thrilling Superpole Race for the first round of the 2024 WorldSBK season at Phillip Island.

Kawasaki Racing Team rider Alex Lowes claimed his first victory in WorldSBK since Race 2 at Phillip Island in 2020, while 2021 Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu was on the rostrum with BMW for the first time.

Lowes took advantage of an odd mistake made by the early leader Andrea Iannone, which eliminated him from the race, placed himself ahead as he took advantage of the incidents behind him to gap the field.

In third place, Toprak Razgatlioglu held off a late charge from Alvaro Bautista to secure his first podium in BMW colors, while Lowes guided Andrea Locatelli to his second podium of the weekend so far.

Throughout the weekend, Lowes consistently proved himself to belong among the fastest contenders at the Australian circuit, and in the shorter Sunday morning race, he clearly appeared to have a good chance of finishing first once more.

And so it did, with Lowes battling it out with Andrea Iannone early on to momentarily gain the lead before the end of first lap after the Team Go Eleven Ducati rider secured the hole-shot from the front row.

Iannone appeared to be on track to pull off a surprise victory on his return weekend for the better part of the race after comfortably managing the pace while skirmishes erupted in his wake.

With five laps remaining, though, the former MotoGP rider stumbled on the exit of Siberia, enough to allow Lowes and the closely followed Toprak Razgatlioglu to move past him for first and second, putting his chances of a spectacular finish to rest.

Iannone’s unease caused him to lose positions in the subsequent turns, and when he temporarily sat up on his way into Turn 12, his bid for race victory would come to an end as he crossed the line in 14th place.

Following Iannone’s relegation, Lowes seized a lead that he would retain to the finish line with the Ducati man out of the picture. This gave the seasoned rider an opportunity to surge ahead into a comfortable lead as the trailing group stumbled over each other.

With little over three laps remaining, Lowes’ advantage grew to over a second. He ran the Kawasaki ZX-10RR smoothly and quickly to win, giving the team and rider a much-needed lift after losing Jonathan Rea to Yamaha during the winter.

The volatile nature of the Phillip Island course would keep things unpredictable, with a glaring contrast between those speedy on the straights, such as the Ducatis and Razgatlioglu’s BMW, and those who were agile in the turns, mostly the Yamahas.

For a brief period, it appeared as though Razgatlioglu was ahead of the rivals as the Turk was intimidating as he passed the Gardner straight and exhibited enough wildness when applying the brakes to control a M 1000 RR, which is still an unpredictable machine in some of the trickier turns.

Ultimately, it was a determined Locatelli who would take second with the Italian making significant progress from a low of tenth place following a subpar start. Despite the slow start to the race, Locatelli picked a harder tyre choice compared to others and advanced through the pack rapidly. However, after he had finally caught up to second place, he had little chance to gain ground on Lowes.

Razgatlioglu managed to secure the third spot, achieving his maiden podium finish with BMW. This is the German brand’s first top three finish since 2022.He was closely followed by Bautista, who made up for his poor showing following Saturday’s crash with an improved performance on his way to fourth.

However, Bautista’s performance was far from flawless; albeit he appeared to be running fast in a straight line, he struggled frequently to get the Ducati to slow down and turn.

Even so, it was enough to place him in fourth place. Bautista finished ahead of his teammate who had won the first race, Nicolo Bulega, who came in fifth and received a brief but severe shock about how intense the Superpole Race is.

After a slow start from pole, the youngster was pushed down to seventh at one point and eventually made his way into the race, and advanced up to only fifth at the checkered flag.

Home favorite Remy Gardner treated the crowd to a thrilling display of bold racing, which saw him get as high as third at points during the race, only to be caught out by the leading pack in the closing stages finishing sixth.

GYTR GRT Yamaha teammate Dominique Aegerter trailed him to the finish line in seventh place, while Sam Lowes came in shortly after in eighth place.

The Marc VDS Ducati rider made strong progress in the latter stages of the race following a mistake that placed him outside of the top ten and was the first to congratulate his twin brother on his achievement on the warm-down lap.

Ninth-place finisher Michael Ruben Rinaldi capped the points-paying positions. The Italian managed to stave off the advances of Jonathan Rea, who performed better in the shorter Superpole Race than in the first race but was not enough to secure points.

2024 WorldSBK Phillip Island Superpole Race Results

1Alex Lowes🇬🇧Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR10 Laps
2Andrea Locatelli🇮🇹Pata PROMOTEONYamaha R1+1.157
3Toprak Razgatlioglu🇹🇷ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+1.738
4Alvaro Bautista🇪🇦Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+1.812
5Nicolo Bulega🇮🇹Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+2.838
6Remy Gardner🇦🇺GYTR GRTYamaha R1+2.853
7Dominique Aegerter🇨🇭GYTR GRTYamaha R1+3.051
8Sam Lowes🇬🇧Elf Marc VDS RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+3.341
9Michael Ruben Rinaldi🇮🇹Motocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+5.140
10Jonathan Rea🇬🇧Pata PROMOTEONYamaha R1+5.525
11Axel Bassani🇮🇹Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+6.084
12Xavi Vierge🇪🇦Team HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+6.958
13Garrett Gerloff🇺🇲Bonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR+7.017
14Andrea Iannone🇮🇹Team Go ElevenDucati Panigale V4 R+7.814
15Danilo Petrucci🇮🇹Barni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+8.580
16Michael van der Mark🇳🇱ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR+9.158
17Scott Redding🇬🇧Bonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR+11.070
18Philipp Oettl🇩🇪GMT 94Yamaha R1+13.228
19Tito Rabat🇪🇦Puccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+16.543
20Adam Norrodin🇲🇾Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+28.706
21Bradley Ray🇬🇧MotoxracingYamaha R1+49.720
DNFTarran Mackenzie🇬🇧Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R
DNSIker Lecuona🇪🇦Team HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R

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