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For all things motorcycling

2016 WorldSBK Italy - Imola

Race 1

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team endured a difficult day at Imola's Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari today. Alex Lowes rode his solitary YZF-R1 to 11th place in the weekend's first race after an accident in Superpole qualifying meant Sylvain Guintoli was unable to take part.

A challenging qualifying session meant Lowes would start this afternoon's race from the head of the fifth row in 13th position and, as he has shown in previous weekends, his determination was evident from lights out. Immediately gaining positions, the young Brit began the contest running 11th, improving further to enter the top-10 by the sixth lap. A 12-lap battle ensued for the remainder of the race as six bikes vied for seventh place and, while Lowes swapped positions on a number of occasions, he was eventually beaten at the line to finish just outside of the hard-fought top-10. Five points brings his championship tally to 49, sitting him 11th in the standings heading in to tomorrow's final 19-lap race at 13:00 local time.

Guintoli had a strong morning, concluding the final free practice in seventh position as he prepared for the Superpole qualifier. Unfortunately, an intense high-side at turn 12 brought the Frenchman down hard and he was quickly recovered to the circuit's medical centre. Alert, conscious and talking he was transferred to Imola hospital for further investigation. Fortunately the checks have revealed no serious injuries and although he is in a lot of discomfort and will remain under observation overnight, he is in good spirits and hopes to return to the track tomorrow.


Race 2

Alex Lowes got his final race at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Imola off to a flying start this afternoon as he fired his Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK YZF-R1 off the lights. Reaping the benefits of his impressive start the British rider inherited seven places from his 13th position on the grid, holding sixth from the opening lap. Circulating strongly with the group around him, Lowes maintained his position and consistent pace to the mid-race distance before gaining the advantage on the rider in front. Continuing to build his rhythm as his pace improved he set his fastest lap of the race - a 1'47.848 - on lap 11, but with tyre wear starting to feature the Yamaha rider knew he needed a more conservative race to the finish to consolidate his position. Lowes concluded the race in sixth, boosting his championship position back in to the top-10 with 59 points.

Sylvain Guintoli returned to the WorldSBK paddock after being released from the local Imola hospital late last night. Diagnosed with a broken left ankle - which required only plaster and no surgery - and bruised ribs, the Frenchman joined his team to watch the second race from the Pata Yamaha garage. Travelling home this evening, he will re-evaluate his injuries in the coming days before any decisions on his return to competitive action are made.

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