Alex Lowes will remain with Pata Yamaha for the 2018 World Superbike championship having signed a new one-year deal.
The British rider joined the new-look Pata Yamaha squad on the Japanese manufacturer’s return to the World Superbike championship in 2016 and will stay at the Crescent Racing-run squad next season alongside Michael van der Mark who currently has a two-year deal having joined the squad last year.
Fresh from winning his second consecutive Suzuka 8 Hours alongside van der Mark and Katsuyuki Nakasuga, and Yamaha’s third victory in a row, the deal was reportedly signed in Japan after impressing Yamaha with his progress in 2017 having claimed two rostrum finished in World Superbikes so far this year which sees him fifth in the riders’ championship.
Lowes followed Crescent Racing’s switch to become the official factory Yamaha squad in World Superbikes in 2016 and has played a key role in the development of the YZF-R1 on the international stage. The British rider is thrilled to secure the deal with Pata Yamaha for 2018 and is aiming to lead the Japanese manufacturer’s charge to the front of the World Superbike pack next season.
“I am really happy to continue with Yamaha and the Pata Yamaha Team into 2018,” Lowes said. “I feel part of the Yamaha family and this year I believe I have made a step up from last season. I want to keep improving and to get to where I, Yamaha and the R1 belong, which is challenging at the front of WorldSBK, so this is my goal and mission.
“I want to say a massive thank you for the faith Yamaha Motor Europe and the whole team have shown in me, and I look forward to repaying them with results.
“What’s most important for me is that I want to be in a position to win the World Superbike championship in the future. I believe that I can be world champion and honestly it’s been a tough four years for me in the series. I believe that I can achieve a lot here and it has been difficult to not have that success. When the time is right and the we’re ready I think that Yamaha and myself will be in a really strong position. For the rest of the season I want us to get consistent results for the rest of the year and pick up another couple of podiums. My goal is to make sure that I finish fifth in the championships.
“It’s strange for me to have that as my goal because I want to win races and be a champion but to be the best of the rest behind the Ducatis and Kawasakis is the target.”
Road Racing Project Manager for Yamaha Motor Europe Andrea Dosoli is delighted to confirm both Pata Yamaha riders for 2018 and sees the continuity of keeping Lowes and van der Mark as key to the progress of the team.
“We’re really pleased to confirm both riders for the coming season, the project is going in the right direction and step by step we’re closing the gap to the top competitors,” Dosoli said. “Being able to count on the same talented riders is fundamental for further development, as continuity is a key factor in motorsport, so we are really happy that Alex has accepted to extend the agreement for another season.
“We started together in a mid to long term project and the recent Suzuka 8 Hours result is another positive step on a path that will reach maturity in 2018. Michael is improving his understanding of the R1 and of the team race by race, he is becoming a fundamental part of the Yamaha Family and the 2018 season will offer him the possibility to consistently express his great talent. Let’s now focus on the remaining races of the 2017 season as we still have a lot of work to do.”