Alex Lowes branded Sunday at Magny–Cours a ‘fantastic day’ for Yamaha after he and team–mate Michael van der Mark secured the marque’s first double World Superbike podium since 2011.
The British rider enjoyed a strong start to the weekend in race one, guiding his YZF–R1 through the treacherous conditions to finish fifth.
Starting from second on Sunday as a result, Lowes shot into the lead on the opening lap and stayed there for four laps before Ducati’s Chaz Davies carved his way through.
Having fended off pole man Leon Camier and van der Mark for second, Lowes was able to mount some pressure on Davies at the front as spots of rain fell on the circuit – though could do nothing in the end to close the three–second gap to the Ducati rider.
Admitting Yamaha still has to find more pace to challenge the Ducatis and Kawasakis in WorldSBK, Lowes believes Sunday’s double podium proves the team is capable of consistently securing strong results when the opportunity arises.
“Honestly, this weekend has been a little bit strange with the different weather conditions, and today with that ‘mental’ rain,” said Lowes.
“I think it’s a perfect example of how well the Pata Yamaha team is working because – although in out and out performance we’re still working hard to close the gap to Ducati and Kawasaki – whenever there’s a chance to take advantage of some different situations we’re there to take advantage of it.
“So, really happy to share the podium with Michael, because like I say the team has been working great and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now.
“It’s a fantastic day for the Crescent Pata Yamaha World Superbike team.”
Lowes‘ second–place finish at Magny–Cours is his third podium of the season after finishing third at home at Donington in race one, and second at Misano in the opening encounter.
Despite the consistency in his results this weekend, Lowes reckons he and the R1 still have more to offer this year, but concedes his focus has now shifted to the 2018 season.
“To be honest, I just try to do the best I can every race,” he said.
“My goal is now on next year and trying to challenge these guys every week, that’s the target of the team, that’s what Yamaha employ me to do and this year we’re doing a better job, we’re getting closer.
“So if I take a step back I can be quite happy with the first part of the season up to now, but as a rider you want more and I still feel like in myself and the bike there’s still more to come.
“So, keep working hard.”