Kawasaki's Lowes returns to WSBK action after injury
Kawasaki rider Alex Lowes made his return to World Superbike action this week in a private test at Jerez, following the shoulder injury he sustained last month.
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Lowes was incapacitated when he suffered a crash during flat track training, leaving him unable to join Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea in a private one-day test at Jerez.
That was set to be Lowes' first running of the year, as a previous test at Jerez in January was rained out, and the Englishman was also forced to miss a subsequent test at Portimao earlier this month (reduced to a single day by bad weather).
Kawasaki arranged for Lowes to join Honda pair Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam for two days of running at Jerez on Friday and Saturday, with Rea sitting out the test in order to preserve his limited allowance of test days.
Continuing where he left off last year with the 2021-spec ZX-10RR, Lowes completed just under 120 laps at the Spanish circuit during the test.
"I was not sure how much I would be able to do with my shoulder but we did a lot of laps - 65 I think on the final day - and I was able to continue the work that we started with the new package in November," Lowes commented.
"This was positive because we did not know if we could be on a good enough pace to start working - but we were. We literally picked up where we left off, the pace was good and we found some positive steps with the bike. Also, with my riding, as I have been focusing in the winter to be smoother on the exit of the corners.
"It was a really positive test and we ticked all the boxes we had set out for these two days. A big thank you to Kawasaki, KRT and all the team for putting this extra test on for me, after missing two with the injury. I am really happy to get 2021 back underway.”
Alex Lowes, Kawasaki Racing Team
Photo by: Kawasaki Racing Team
Lowes' crew chief Marcel Duinker added: “Alex had not ridden the bike for some time but he was impressive from the second or third lap during his first pit lane exit [on Friday]. He was straight up to speed.
"One of the targets of this test was to check his physical condition after his little accident. We soon understood that he was on 99 percent. The other priority was to check one item with the chassis on the bike, over distance, and this is now done.
"He was fast, consistent and did not complain about any physical limitation. We are right on schedule - on target. We missed some tests but in the end it has not affected us at all."
Lowes being in action for two days this week means he has now used six of his permitted 10 days of private testing, having completed four days of running post-season last year.
The two-day official WSBK test at Barcelona on March 31-April 1 does not count towards a rider's allocation, with the entire grid set to be in action for the first time this year.
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