Alex Lowes aiming to sign off 2015 on a high note at Qatar
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki prepares to bid farewell to the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship with the season’s spectacular final race set under the floodlights of Qatar’s Losail International Circuit this weekend.
Suzuki racer Alex Lowes and teammate Randy de Puniet both have experience of the 5,380m desert circuit, with the former achieving two top-10 finishes and strong race-pace aboard his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R during last year’s visit.
Due to its desert location – on the outskirts of Qatar’s capital city Doha – and with temperatures often reaching 40°C, the Losail International Circuit will run its World Superbike race weekend under the slightly cooler cover of darkness.
Built in 2004, the FIA and FIM homologated facilities are illuminated by 1000 floodlights providing daylight conditions as the competitors battle their way around the 16-corner, clockwise layout, with speeds of up to 327kph recorded last -time-out thanks to its kilometre-long finish straight.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s night-race schedule begins at 19:30hrs local time (17:30BST) on Friday 16th October with the first free practice session, the second following at 23:00 (21:00BST). Saturday’s revised format sees the final timed free practice on track at 18:00 (16:00BST) with Superpole’s two 15-minute sessions commencing at 20:45 and 21:10 (18:45 and 19:10BST) respectively followed by the non-timed free practice in the late 23:45 (21:45BST) slot.
Sunday’s warm-up begins at 17:15 (15:15BST) in preparation for race one at 19:00 (17:00BST) and the final Superbike race action of 2015 which gets underway at 22:00 (20:00BST).
“Qatar is always a great race and something a little more exciting due to it being the only night race! I’m really determined to finish my season strong for Suzuki and the team, as they have worked so hard all year, so I’m expecting a lot from the weekend. I know the track from last year; it’s a fun layout with a lot of really quick corners in the middle section which is my favourite part of the lap. I really can’t wait to get there, get out on my GSX-R and see what we can do for the last round.”