Alex continues good form at Jerez test
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Randy de Puniet and Alex Lowes completed another full-day of testing at Jerez in Spain today with second-and-third fastest times in the FIM Superbike World Championship class following the third-day of testing.
De Puniet – feeling confident on his newly-acquired Suzuki GSX-R – recorded 74 laps of the Andalucian track, setting his quickest time on a Pirelli qualifying tyre – a 1’41.296 – on his 54th revolution. He continued to evaluate the new 2015 engine-spec late into the afternoon before the rain called halt on proceedings; the Frenchman concluding the day content with the progress made.
Lowes, who was disrupted by a red-flag as he left pit-lane on a qualifier, set his fastest time of 1’41.321 – on his 63rd of 68 laps – which was enough to claim the third-fastest of the day. Working on race-rubber for the entire duration – including a full race-simulation and a number of practice-starts – the British racer was pleased with his Yoshimura-powered machine’s development over the past two-days having found a setting that allows him to improve the lap-time on new tyres.
Spanish sun soon broke-through early-morning fog to leave largely-cool-but-bright conditions for the majority of the day. But rain returned with less-than 10-minutes to go; having allowed the Suzuki racers to work-through a full-programme as the development of their respective GSX-R machines continued.
Weather looks ominous for the remainder of the week, so Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will decide overnight whether to return for its final day of testing at 10:00hrs local time (09:00GMT) tomorrow.
“Today was good on race tyres, set-up and understanding the bike. We worked a lot on old tyres and got more out of the day race-wise than yesterday; we didn’t use a qualifier, we just concentrated on race-tyres and hopefully, fingers-crossed, it will help us by the time we get to Australia. We are testing, so some things didn’t work, some did, and we are slowly finding a new base-setting for the bike which is different than I had last year and I think it’s in the right direction. We are working hard and thinking about the races and hopefully I’ll be in a better position come Phillip Island.”
Paul Denning- Team Manager:
“Another positive day’s work here in Jerez with good track conditions all day apart from the early-morning mist. Randy’s third day on the Crescent GSX-R has seen him look more-comfortable and more aggressive lap-by-lap and his understanding of the bike and Pirelli tyres is improving all the time. He has never used a Pirelli qualifier before, so he used a couple of those and took big steps forward in lap-times; and then when returning to the race-tyre his pace was immediately better than before, and also very consistent.
“Alex had another stellar day, including a full-race simulation early-on, and despite running into a few technical delays during the day – which is often the case in testing – as soon as the right setting for him to push hard was in the bike, the pace on race-tyres was shockingly fast and a lot-more consistent than we saw here last winter or over the course of the race weekend.
“With the rain that has now arrived it looks like our dry-testing is over. We will decide tonight whether to run any wet-testing tomorrow, but for the moment we can only summarise that it has been a good start to 2015.”