Alex optimistic with top six on day one at Donington
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes started his home World Superbike race weekend in stellar form completing today’s three timed sessions at the UK’s Donington Park in sixth position.
A difficult start to Friday’s revised schedule saw the Derby-based racer set only 20 laps across the first two 45-minute sessions, due to the continuing electronics development to his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R, but despite this, and a low-side crash in the closing minutes of free practice two, Lowes’ 1’29.0 was still enough to keep him comfortably in the top-10, with the seventh fastest time.
Returning to the track for the final timed session late this afternoon, the improvements made were evident during the 18 laps completed, just one-10th-of-a-second separating Lowes from third – and 0.4 from provisional pole – at the close of play.
While the British clouds threatened rain, the track remained dry with ambient temperatures of 19°C heating the track to a comfortable 30°C by the afternoon. Last year’s victor, Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes, defended his position from the outset claiming the fastest time in two of the three sessions on his way to the day’s provisional pole.
Lowes and de Puniet return to Donington Park for the final, non-timed, free practice at 09:30BST tomorrow morning before an earlier-than-usual Superpole, scheduled for Midday.
“We’ve improved in every session and improved every time we’ve changed the bike today, and while it’s still a work in progress, the lads are doing a great job. It’s really, really nice to be riding at Donington, I’m enjoying it a lot and I feel like I’m riding pretty well. I feel like we should be able to improve more compared to the rest – it doesn’t always work like that and with how the last few races have gone for us we just need to have a couple of consistent finishes – but I’m riding the bike well and we are making steps in the right direction. So I’m quite optimistic about tomorrow and hoping we can achieve a couple of good races on Sunday.”
Source: Suzuki Racing