Alex Lowes struggles but places ninth on day one at Losail
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes concluded his first Superbike World Championship night practice with ninth place at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar today.
Both Suzuki riders got off the blocks with a positive start in the first free practice sitting sixth and seventh in the times after the 45-minute session – Alex Lowes just 0.050 ahead of his team-mate with a best lap of 1’59.999. Utilising race two settings from last year’s visit to the Losail track, Alex improved his time in the late-night second-stint to a 1’59.448 to claim ninth in the combined times, despite only completing 10 laps in the final session as he struggled to gel with his GSX-R1000.
The British racer will return to the set-up used in recent rounds from tomorrow’s final timed free practice in a bid to regain his rhythm and confidence ahead of Sunday’s final 17-lap contests.
Air temperatures still registered 31°C with a track high of 35°C despite the late evening start times, with Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea setting the fastest time of the night – a 1’58.252 – to claim control of the times heading into Saturday’s qualifying. Lowes and de Puniet will be back on their Suzuki GSX-Rs for free practice three at 18:00hrs local time (16:00BST) tomorrow while a reversal of the usual order sees Superpole commence at 20:45 (18:45BST) before the final free practice hits the track at 23:45 (21:45BST).
“It was a difficult day today. We were struggling on a number of issues which has meant we haven’t been able to complete enough laps and therefore find a good rhythm. We have a lot to work to do tomorrow but as always we will put our heads down and start with a new direction from FP3.”
Source: Suzuki Racing