Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes is hopeful a second Yamaha team in WorldSBK will move the R1 forwards in 2019 but isn’t expecting any sort of four-rider love-in at the end of every day.
Lowes said that his way of working was the same as before in most regards, even if there is another team – GRT – which now has the same bikes as the official Pata team, and riders of the calibre of WorldSSP Champion Sandro Cortese and multiple WorldSBK race winner Marco Melandri.
“We share data across the teams,” Lowes told bikesportnews.com. “All four bikes are completely the same so we have the options that there might be some different settings, different bits arriving but the bikes are the same.
“We have the opportunity to all work together. That never happens, does it, with two teams? Paul is going to want to beat that team and it is always going to be a bit awkward and competitive. You can say it however else you want but that is how it is.”
He continued, “Sandro has a lot of experience. He may be new to WorldSBK but he was new last year and won the WorldSSP championship. I think that if it is done properly we can all help each other; it is in Yamaha’s interests.
“We are better of challenging each other for the first four spots than have an inter-team battle for seventh and eighth. That is no good for anyone. So, so far it all seems very good, positive, and both teams are pushing each other on.”
Lowes feels unsure of whether another almost factory-equipped duo, added to himself and van der Mark, will make the bike development and rider motivation inside Yamaha any better than it was.
“I already have a good rider on the other side of the garage from me, we work well and push each other as it is, so it is not like we need more motivation to try and race and beat each other.
“In terms of moving the whole project forward, I am not sure, because what they say if they have the opportunity they will keep bringing new stuff forward and it will be nice if they can. From a riders’ perspective, it should help to get more out of ourselves, which is always good.”
When asked if he expects to pool information face-to-face with his fellow Yamaha riders, Lowes was definite in his response. “It is not going to happen is it?,” he said. “You will not find me and Melandri sat having a cup of tea in the truck exchanging notes. No chance. Michael and I do not even do it. That is more for the crew.
“We will share information but we do not sit down with Michael and say, ‘What are you doing?’ That does not really happen. I do my debrief the best I can, he does his debrief the best he can, and then the guys sit together and go over what we have done on the day. It works a bit better.”