Alex Lowes confirmed at Kawasaki Racing Team for 2020 WorldSBK

Alex Lowes will ride alongside Jonathan Rea in the factory Kawasaki Racing Team for the 2020 World Superbike Championship, it is confirmed

Alex Lowes - Yamaha

Alex Lowes will join the multiple title-winning Kawasaki Racing Team for the 2020 WorldSBK Championship alongside five-time champion Jonathan Rea, it has been confirmed. 

The Briton - who is currently third in the WorldSBK standings – was left without a ride for the 2020 WorldSBK season after being replaced by Toprak Razgatlioglu at Yamaha.

However, as predicted by Visordown, Lowes was instead tipped to make the move to the factory Kawasaki effort, a deal that was all-but-confirmed earlier in the week when KRT revealed it wouldn’t be retaining Leon Haslam’s services for 2020.

This will be Lowes’ first WorldSBK tenure outside of the Crescent Racing set up having joined the British team for his inaugural campaign in 2014 when it entered Suzukis, before it swapped over to running the factory Yamaha effort.

“KRT welcomes a 27-year old rider with a lot of pace and good experience. Our target is to ‘polish’ Lowes and try to make him a candidate for the title too. And he has a long career ahead. 

“He has shown very good skills during these years and for sure the potential is there. We’ll try to use all the tools at our disposal in KRT to help him show his best.”

As one door closes, Alex Lowes grabs holds of big opportunity

This is a huge opportunity for Lowes and will go a long way to offer some personal retribution for himself in the wake of Yamaha’s decision to sign Razgatlioglu and retain Michael van der Mark over him, despite being positioned more favourably in the overall standings.

Indeed, there were few riders KRT would have likely considered to replace Haslam – who despite underperforming remains popular within the manufacturer – but unfortunately for him, Lowes was one of them. 

This is because Lowes has enjoyed significant success in the Suzuka 8 Hours, an event held close to the hearts of the decision-makers, not just at Kawasaki but Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki. A winner in 2016, 2017 and 2018, his Yamaha team finished only behind KRT in 2019.

However, while this is a chance for Lowes to get his leg over arguably the best Superbike on the grid – or, at the very least, the most complete – he does so in the shadow of a five-time WorldSBK champion in Rea, which will inevitably carry the dreaded ‘support role’ spectre just by association. 

It doesn’t help they were embroiled in a controversial clash earlier in the year at Jerez which led to a rather uncomfortable off-track war of words.

Moreover, there is also nowhere to hide for Lowes. His WorldSBK record is one of perhaps untapped potential when you consider his record of a single win and 18 podiums against a start count of 160 races.

However, Lowes – together with Razgatlioglu – can be identified as having made the biggest improvement year-on-year in WorldSBK despite this being his sixth and a switch to a team that will expect the wins Haslam couldn’t offer can only fire him up.