As the owner of a 2019 Pata Yamaha WorldSBK contract, Alex Lowes is in a very good position when compare to other top riders.
Winner of his first WorldSBK race earlier this year at Brno, he and his team-mate Michael van der Mark were signed up in July, although many of their peers are not close to signed up as we approach November.
Lowes knows it will be a tough winter for some of his main rivals.
“It is a shame, obviously, because in racing in general we need more teams at the front,” said Lowes. “There are a lot of people that deserve rides and it is a shame that we cannot have another two or three teams coming onto the championship, because there are race winning riders there wanting to ride the bikes.
“It would be great of we could get more teams. As a rider, you are always on your toes now, doing a good job, upping your game, because there is always someone wanting to ride the bike. Which makes the teams in a strong position and the riders in a weaker position.”
Lowes knows his overall package is strong but maybe needs to make a step up in 2019 to be fully in the mix.
“To be in full competition next year, and to go into winter, in my head training to try and be world champion, we need to improve the bike a bit,” said Lowes after a strong first day in Qatar, finishing fourth after FP3.
His season has been patchy so far, sometimes great and sometimes the opposite, but one main change across the paddock has been more difficult for Lowes to overcome than most – the taller Pirelli control tyres brought to most rounds now.
“The bigger tyres were worse for me,” affirmed Lowes. “When we went to the bigger tyres you have to load them a bit more and it is bit harder to change direction. In a couple of my personal strong areas of riding I am not as effective with the bigger tyres, but that is the same for everyone, so it is certainly not an excuse.
We maybe need to change a little bit but it clear that as soon as we went to the bigger tyres I have struggled a bit in performance, Michael gained a bit of performance, and had a couple of races where he got a lot of speed. Obvious in Argentina we were back to the old tyres.
At the level we are riding at now, that the guys are riding at, it is not like we have an off weekend, and you forget to turn up, and cannot ride anymore. There are always reasons why – I think anyway – people are where they are. I need some bits for sure and that is what I need to focus on where I can find benefits for myself.”