Bautista - Razgatlioglu must 'control himself', Lowes not a contender

Alvaro Bautista weighs up the title contenders for the 2020 WorldSBK season, revealing he doesn't think Alex Lowes can sustain he strong start to the year

Toprak Razgatlioglu - Yamaha WorldSBK

Alvaro Bautista says he doesn’t expect to see Alex Lowes fighting for the 2020 WorldSBK Championship title despite his impressive start to life as a Kawasaki rider at Phillip Island.

The Briton opened up his seventh WorldSBK season – his first as a Kawasaki rider – with a starring performance in Australia, picking up only his second career victory with convincing win over team-mate and champion Jonathan Rea.

Giving him the early championship lead before racing was called to a halt due to the coronavirus crisis, the performance has raised his stock as a contender in 2020.

However, Honda rider Bautista, who battled for 2019 title with Rea, is less convinced that Lowes will be able to sustain such form over the course of a season.

“Lowes has a lot of experience, is very fast and drives the world champion motorcycle,” he told Radio Marca. “But I'm not sure whether he will be able to fight for the title by the end of the season.”

By contrast, he anticipates the highly rated Toprak Razgatlioglu to fight it out for the top spot in his first year as a Yamaha rider, but suggests he needs to ‘control himself’ first.

“Razgatlioglu, on the other hand, only has to control himself somewhat. He was fast in 2019 but made too many mistakes. He destroyed my race in Laguna Seca and Magny-Cours.

“We will see if the official factory team gives him more security. He is very aggressive and I think he can fight for the World Cup until the end.”

Following Phillip Island, the next three rounds of the 2020 WorldSBK season – Qatar, Jerez and Assen – have been postponed, though more are expected to be rearranged as nations initiate a lockdown over the coronavirus.