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Feb 21, 2014 - 04:08 PM
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Lowes Fastest In World Superbike Debut
Posted by: newsla on Feb 21, 2014 - 04:07 PM
Lowes Fastest In World Superbike Debut

Team Suzuki Press Office – February 21.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki racer Alex Lowes attacked his inaugural outing on the World Superbike stage at Phillip Island in Australia today with the same panache that saw him become British Champion last year by taking the top spot in the second free practice session.


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Changeable conditions saw only a handful of riders briefly take to the track in this morning’s free practice, with the majority opting to wait for the afternoon session before setting a hot lap in the new timed format. Lowes quickly found his form, setting his fastest lap of 1’31.100, less than half-way through the session. The consistency shown by the Englishman continued as he set seven of 20 laps all under the 1’32 barrier.

Eugene Laverty, electing largely to use the track time to work on rear tyre evaluation, swiftly followed his team-mate to the top of the timesheets. He set a time of 1’31.448 a few minutes after Lowes - the second fastest time of the day at the midway point - and the Yoshimura-powered racers continued to hold the top-two positions for the majority of the session.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will now evaluate this afternoon’s data in a bid to capitalise on the current form ahead of tomorrow’s final timed qualifying practice at 09:45 local time (22:45 GMT) and the new-style eni FIM Superbike World Championship Superpole sessions commencing at 15:00 local time (04:00 GMT).

Alex Lowes:

“Today was good. The wind was really bad and affecting the bike a lot, but we still made some progress in certain areas. I’m looking forward to going out tomorrow and confirming that it is definitely better when the weather’s more favourable. I really like Phillip Island; when a track is as windy as it’s been today it is hard to enjoy it, but I think it’s a great track, and I’m looking forward to the racing here. I still need to work hard to see if we can be in a good position for tomorrow and the race on Sunday, we have a lot of refinements still to do with the electronics and the suspension so we’ll put our heads together tonight and see what we can improve for tomorrow. “

Eugene Laverty:

“The weather turned on us a little bit today so we lost one practice session, but it was the same for everybody. The second practice we tried a different tyre and got some work done because we have got a lot of rear tyres to try and evaluate. We will have a study of the data collected and make a plan for tomorrow but everything so far is going to plan.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“For Alex to top the leader board on his first-ever timed session as a World Superbike rider is an amazing achievement for him and also hopefully indicates how far we’ve come with the bike since the end of last season. Clearly there is a lot of work still to do before we can be confident of challenging the best riders in the race, but we have had very good pace since the morning of the first day of the test and Alex has taken to the circuit and to World Superbike incredibly well.

“Eugene tried a few small adjustments this afternoon but with the weather conditions as they were, and the amount of laps and success he’s had at Phillip Island previously, there was no need to push too hard. He looks super-smooth on the track and at this point in the weekend we hope to have both the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki riders challenging for top results on Sunday.”

Phillip Island – eni FIM Superbike World Championship – Free Practice Two: 1. Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) 1’31.100: 2. Marco Melandri (Aprilia) +0.037: 3. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) +0.105: 4. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) +0.295: 5. Jonathan Rea (Honda) +0.336: 6. Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) +0.348.

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