Alex Lowes fastest on opening day of Phillip Island testing
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki began its official FIM Superbike World Championship test at Phillip Island in dramatic style with Alex Lowes topping the times – whilst teammate Randy de Puniet suffered a huge crash after setting the early pace.
A steady start to Monday’s proceedings saw Lowes conclude the morning session in ninth place before working through a number of test settings as the afternoon progressed.
As track temperatures rose from 29 to 37°C between sessions, the British racer put his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R safely into the 1.31 bracket before a 1’31.332 with just minutes to go, claimed the day’s top spot by over 0.3 of a second.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki returns to testing action at 09:10hrs local time tomorrow morning (22:10GMT) for a further two, two-hour sessions at the Victoria circuit.
“It’s been a difficult day and I’m quite surprised to be fastest. We’ve had some issues to work through but the guys have worked really hard and done a fantastic job. We’re approaching this year differently to last, as I almost ruined my season before the first race last year by crashing, but this year I’m determined not to do the same again – obviously mistakes can happen but we’re working well. We’ve got some good information and feedback from today and I didn’t get frustrated when we had problems early on; I kept calm and went quite fast at the end. We’ve got a lot of work still to do – someone asked my expectations for Sunday, but I’m just looking forward to tomorrow morning, doing my best and then we’ll see what happens for the race weekend. Big credit to the guys and I really hope Randy is ok. Lez (my crew chief from last year) really helped this afternoon when we had some problems and that just shows the team we have this year. We might be one of the smaller factory set-ups but we are very strong and I think we are going to do a good job.”
Source: Suzuki Racing