Alex concludes two day Phillip Island test ahead of opening 2020 round
The Phillip Island circuit in Australia hosted the final pre-season test for the WorldSBK riders on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 February, with Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea wrapping up their pre-race checks and set-up tasks in readiness for the first round of the year this coming weekend.
Light rain and several red flags prevented a full first day of action but on the second day the early morning and then afternoon sessions allowed the KRT staff to evaluate tyre options and set-up decisions looking to the imminent arrival of race weekend.
Alex worked on machine balance to find feel and feedback after realising that his previous set-up from the European winter test programme needed some modification at such a fast and flowing circuit. He and his tech crew have now settled on a base set-up to take into the start of race weekend on Friday.
Now the refreshed KRT line up of five times champion Rea and new signing Alex will face three races at PI – two full distance events (one on Saturday and one on Sunday) and a ten lap sprint race on Sunday morning, 1 March.
The opening round of the 2020 championship is the first of 13 rounds, with the second one coming along at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, between 13 and 15 March.
“Obviously it has not been as easy to find the right feeling and set-up on the bike as I would have liked coming here but also it is the first time on the bike on such a strange track layout. It is so fast here, with lots of changes of direction. How I felt on the bike earlier in the winter tests was not quite the same here, so we worked a bit on the set-up. I got a little bit frustrated a couple of times, made a couple of mistakes, but the last session it was a bit better and we have found a base set-up that I can go into the weekend with. I am looking forward to getting my first race weekend in green started in a few days from now.”