WSBK: Alex Lowes in at Castrol Honda for Injured Rea

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Alex Lowes will replace Jonathan Rea for the World Superbike round at Brno next month while the rider recovers from surgery. Rea had a huge crash during the warm-up ten days ago at the Misano round, resulting in a broken collarbone, injured foot, and radial fracture and ligament damage to his right wrist. He underwent surgery Monday and was scheduled to miss this past weekend’s racing at Aragon and return for Brno.

Instead, considerable ligament damage to the wrist was found, necessitating “external pins in it and screws,” according to a tweet by the rider Thursday. Rea explained further, “I was pretty upset when I got the news after the surgery yesterday because it means a longer rehab than we’d thought. It’s difficult, of course, and I’m devastated, but I’ve got a great team around me so I know I’ll get all the support I need to come back strong.” That team includes surgeon Mike Hayton, who has had a busy couple of weeks operating on Rea last Monday and Troy Corser this week.

Despite his aggravation at not being able to race, Rea has been publicly thrilled for his young replacement, tweeting, “Couldn’t be replaced at Brno by a nicer bloke! Congratulations @alexlowes now make sure and give them ‘big boys’ some hell!” Lowes has transferred over the to Castrol Honda squad from British Superbike.

The young rider started this season dominating the British Evo class, but had recently moved up to Superbikes to replace injured Kawasaki rider Stuart Easton. He had previously split from his Honda Evo team over contract disputes despite his five wins in six races. Older brother Sam Lowes also races on a Honda, in the World Supersport class.

Lowes is quite effusive, “This is an incredible opportunity for me – I keep pinching myself because I’m riding for one of the world’s best race teams in the World Superbike championship. I know I have a lot to learn but I want to make the most of this and repay Castrol, Honda and the whole team for the faith they’ve shown in me.”

Team manager Ronald ten Kate also sounds enthusiastic about Rea’s replacement, “The combination of Alex’s sheer riding ability, his young age and a strong ambition to move up to world championship racing make us believe that he will be an ideal substitute while Jonathan is recuperating from his injuries.”

Source: Castrol Honda; Photo: