Alex lines up on third row of the grid at Qatar
Alex Lowes and teammate Randy de Puniet will start the final World Superbike races of 2015 on the third row for Voltcom Crescent Suzuki after a tense Superpole at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit this evening.
A strong performance in the day’s opening session had allowed both Suzuki racers to advance directly to Superpole 2, which took to the track at a slightly delayed 21:30hrs local time (19:30BST).
Alex had put in a confident and consistent fifth place performance in the final timed free practice – completing 17 laps in the 45-minute session as he switched his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R’s settings from those used on Friday – and the British racer’s determined performance continued into the Superpole qualifier as he claimed seventh in the times with a best lap of 1’57.638, to head row three for tomorrow’s finale.
A change to the regular schedule saw one free practice session completed either side of the all-important Superpole qualifiers, as Tom Sykes’ 1’56.821 lap aboard his Kawasaki claimed pole position from his team-mate Jonathan Rea – both surpassing the circuit’s best lap record.
Saturday’s final track action for Voltcom Crescent Suzuki comes in the form of the later-than-normal free practice four, with both Lowes and de Puniet utilising the 30 minutes to concentrate on tyre-life ahead of the 2015 season’s two 17-lap race-conclusion tomorrow at 19:00 and 22:00hrs local time (17:00 and 20:00BST).
“Today wasn’t bad, and we’ve made some big steps compared to yesterday. Free practice three was good – we had a totally different setting in the bike which took a bit of understanding, but honestly, I’m really disappointed to be seventh. I made some mistakes near the end of my qualifying lap, just probably pushing a little bit too hard, but we are working better today so I’m looking forward to free practice four and a couple of good races tomorrow. It’s one of those tracks where obviously the one-lap pace doesn’t have much of a bearing on the race results so we need to work hard in the next session, get a good start tomorrow and I want two top-sixes to finish the year. I would have liked to have qualified on the first two rows but that didn’t happen, but we are working well as a team, I think that was a solid job and I’m looking forward to the races.”
Source: Suzuki Racing