Alex Lowes tops FP2 in Jerez
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes returned from the summer break in fine form as he topped the afternoon practice at the Jerez Circuit in Spain today, to take third in the overall times as the eni FIM Superbike World Championship got back underway.
A cooler start – despite the morning’s temperatures already heading in to the mid 20’s (with the track at 31°C) – saw Alex struggle with a front brake issue in FP1, preventing him from utilising the full 45-minute session. However, once rectified, the British racer quickly re-familiarised himself with his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R and the Andalucían layout.
As the afternoon asphalt recorded 48°C, Alex exploited his July experience from the Sepang and Suzuka heat, to advance his morning best by eight-tenths and claim the fastest time of the second free practice.
Bathed in Spanish sun throughout the day, the Jerez circuit saw Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes retain the top spot in the combined times after setting a 1’41.957 mid-way through the morning’s opening free practice.
The action returns to the Spanish track at 09:45hrs local time (08:45BST) tomorrow morning for Alex and teammate Randy de Puniet’s final timed free practice, with Superpole qualifying getting underway from 15:00 (14:00BST) Saturday afternoon.
“We had a difficult start to the day as we missed a lot of the first session, and after not riding for six-and-a-half weeks I felt a bit rusty! We are actually running a setting we have not tried in Jerez, it’s more of a similar balance to what we used in Malaysia when the conditions were warmer, and I felt really good. The bike under braking and the front end feel, for the hotter conditions, is feeling really good; it’s something we’ve struggled with in the past so I’m pleased. I really enjoyed today, I’m happy to be back on the bike and back with the lads – who are all working hard as usual – but it is only the first day and everyone is just getting up to speed. I need to continue to work really hard tomorrow and hopefully we can stay close to the front this weekend.”
Source: Suzuki Racing