Alex Lowes takes first WSBK front row for tomorrow’s Thai round
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes scored his first World Superbike front row today in the Championship’s debut Superpole qualifying at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand after claiming third position in a closely-fought battle.
With the entire field missing the majority of this morning’s third free practice session due to an unexpected downpour, Lowes was assured of his ascension into Superpole two. An impressive pace in the final mid-day practice saw the Suzuki racer begin his afternoon with confidence.
Improving on his previous best with his second-flying-lap as the shoot-out for grid positions commenced, he headed his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R in for qualifying rubber, instantly breaking the 1’34 barrier on his return to the track. A 1’33.738 on his second attempt was enough to keep the Englishman in the top three, giving him his first front-row start on the world stage for tomorrow’s races.
Dark clouds and a cooler 29°C greeted the Championship for its inaugural qualifying at the Buriram Circuit as Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea claimed pole position with a 1’33.382.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki returns to the Chang International Circuit tomorrow for its first WSBK race, scheduled for 13:00hrs local time (06:00GMT) with the second instalment of action following later in the afternoon at 16:30hrs (09:30GMT).
“I’m happy with today! It’s my first time on the front row with the Suzuki, the boys have done a good job and we keep making little steps forward, not too much but we’re going in the right direction! I’m enjoying it and hopefully I can repay the lads tomorrow with a decent result because they’ve all worked very hard over the winter and last year as well. Thanks to the whole team, the boys on the other side of the garage as well because they’ve helped me out too, so cheers! To be fair the lap wasn’t my best, I could’ve gone quicker and I just didn’t quite put it together so that was a shame, but all that matters is that we are on the front-row, we’ve got a chance tomorrow and I can’t wait.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“Congratulations to Alex and the whole team on his first front row start in World Superbikes. He’s been consistently fast in every session this weekend and it was great to back-that-up with the qualifying tyre. Alex is either fastest or equal fastest in all the sectors apart from the last one, where we are struggling a little bit under braking into the last corner, so some engine-brake setting work tonight and a little bit more refinement should help him there for the races.”
Source: Crescent Suzuki