Alex aiming to get his season back on track at Laguna Seca
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes is excited about tackling the iconic Corkscrew this weekend as the eni FIM Superbike World Championship heads stateside for round nine at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California.
Alex showed impressive pace on his debut at the American circuit last year, concluding Friday’s three practices in fourth and finishing his first race in eighth on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R before a dramatic clash at the Corkscrew ended his day early. With experience of the layout now under his belt the British racer is looking forward to confronting the California track on his 2015-spec machine.
Originally built on U.S. Army land in 1957, following the path of a dry lake bed just 12kms from the central Californian coast, the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca began modifications in 1988 to become an FIM homologated circuit. The lengthened 3,602m layout features huge elevation and speed changes throughout due to its hillside location, with the production class machines reaching 258km/h during last year’s event despite its short straights (the longest of which is just 453 metres).
Now a central part of the Monterey County Parks Department, the circuit’s seven left and four right-hand curves are somewhat overshadowed by the infamous Corkscrew at turns 8 and 8a which sees a blind crest give way to an 18m drop in just 137m of track, and denotes much of the racers’ enthusiasm for the US visit.
A change from the 2014 schedule sees Voltcom Crescent Suzuki undertake just two free practice sessions on Friday July 17th at 11:15hrs local time and 15:00hrs (19:15 and 23:00BST). With Sunday’s two 25-lap races on track at 11:30hrs and 14:30hrs (19:30 and 22:30BST) respectively.
“I have only raced at Laguna once, last year, and I really enjoyed it. It’s a technical track with a lot of elevation throughout but the most exciting part is definitely the world famous Corkscrew, it’s even steeper than it looks on TV! There aren’t any parts of the circuit that I don’t like but it is going to be really important for us to get the Suzuki working well there early on, so I can relax and concentrate on good lap times. I am really hoping to get my season ‘back on track’ in America, with a very solid weekend.”
Source: Suzuki Racing