Alex Lowes takes eighth and tenth at Magny Cours
2015’s penultimate race saw Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes power through to take two top-ten finishes at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France, despite his high-speed crash in qualifying yesterday.
A wet track greeted the Superbike World Championship for the early warm-up but a problem with Marcus Reiterberger’s wildcard BMW towards the end of the 15 minutes session left a covering of oil on the already slippery surface – bringing out the red flags and delaying the first race by 15 minutes. With the race declared wet, and reduced to 19-laps, the question of tyre-life hung in the air – the rain had abated but how quickly the evolving surface would dry remained an unknown.
Yesterday’s crash in Superpole had left Lowes with little wet knowledge of his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R, so he tentatively judged his feel as the lights went out. The British racer’s pace improving as his confidence in the conditions grew, Lowes concluded the opening contest in a strong eighth position and with the weather brightening he was looking forward to the second race.
The sun shone brightly as the afternoon grid formed, but the wrong choice of tyre proved costly for Lowes, making challenging work of the final 21-lap race. Dropping down the order in the early laps, he struggled to pass his competitors without running wide, but true to style he dug deep to regain the top-10 and claim 14 points overall from the day’s efforts.
World Champion Jonathan Rea proved Jerez was a misnomer as he returned to the top step of the podium in both today’s wet and dry conditions, while his Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes and Ducati challenger Chaz Davies continued their fight for the runner’s up spot claiming a second place apiece in front of the 23,000 passionate Gallic-fans.
Alex and teammate Randy de Puniet now have their sights firmly set on the 2015 finale, as Voltcom Crescent Suzuki prepares for the journey east, to Qatar’s capital Doha, for the concluding round of the Superbike World Championship under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit on Sunday October 19th.
“Tyre performance was the main story for us today. We chose the hard tyre as we had struggled to make the soft option work over long distance, and when we changed the bike settings to run the soft, it created problems in other areas. We were running about half a second down on our FP3 pace, but as the track was quicker today that ultimately dropped us a second a lap. It’s disappointing as we had been running top-six for the majority of the weekend, but eighth and 10th in the changing conditions is at least an improvement from last year! Now we have the night race, and the season finale to look forward to, so we will get our heads down and look forward to Qatar.”
Source: Suzuki Racing