A fifth place in yesterday’s first Superbike race of the weekend with very low grip conditions and a hotter than expected track, put the hard working Pata Yamaha rider Lowes on pole position for today’s second race. Taking all the experience and data from yesterday, the team were able to step up a level and deliver a race bike that proved unbeatable in the right hands. Lowes took the holeshot into turn one at the front of the pack, and only briefly allowed teammate van der Mark past for a few corners as he settled into his rhythm. As the second lap unfolded he was immediately back in front, and working hard towards keeping his YZF-R1 ahead. Marco Melandri briefly took the lead with 14 laps to go, but quickly made an error, running off and leaving Lowes to strike ahead.
Back in second, van der Mark was able to keep him close but the race was the British rider’s to lose. A faultless race pace followed, Lowes maintaining and finally growing the gap to van der Mark behind to just over two seconds at the finish line. The perfect performance delivers Lowes his maiden WSBK victory, and Yamaha’s third victory in the last four races.
Teammate van der Mark had also picked up his pace from yesterday’s challenging conditions and looked comfortable taking off from second on the grid today. The young Dutchman was unfazed by the greasy surface, calmly moving back into second after Melandri ran off the track ahead of him and race leader Lowes. Clearly benefiting from the race winning confidence of the last round, van der Mark was able to keep within 2s of his teammate to the finish line, leaving the pack behind to secure a memorable Yamaha 1-2 on the podium.
The race results bring van der Mark up to third in the championship standings on 196 points, 17 ahead of Tom Sykes in fourth and just nine behind Chaz Davies in second. Lowes’ race win brings him up to 154 points and places him in sixth in the standings, just three points behind Melandri in fifth.