Alex positive with opening day at Portimao
On their Ninja ZX-10RR machines Alex Lowes and teammate Jonathan Rea made their first important steps to find an optimum set-up for the first race on Saturday 8 August, and evaluate the track conditions at a circuit with many more track elevation changes than the previous venue of Jerez. Ambient weather conditions were much kinder than they were last weekend, with FP2 today held in 27°C and with a track temperature of 44°C.
The 4.592km circuit in Portimao is now starting to offer more grip with so much track action having taken place today in warm conditions. The early action in the support classes were held up by the lack of medical helicopter cover due to localised fog early this morning. The late beginning did not affect the circuit or eventual WorldSBK FP1 session starting time itself.
Saturday 8 August will see race one, over 20 laps, held at 14.00 local time in Portugal – which is one hour behind CET. A 10-lap Tissot-Superpole ‘sprint’, followed by the final 20-lap race two, will complete the Portuguese weekend on Sunday 9 August.
FP3 and then Superpole qualifying, to determine the final grid slots for all riders, will take place before race one on Saturday morning.
“Our opening day was pretty good and I am quite happy with the bike, really. I want to improve a little bit in some of the longer, faster corners; I am just missing a little bit of position in the front with the bike set-up. But I felt quite good during my long run this afternoon and did a lot of laps at the same pace as my best lap. Obviously, it is my first time here with the Kawasaki. Because I have done so many laps here on other bikes it is quite a lot different in terms of how to ride my Ninja ZX-10RR to get the best from it, so it takes a bit of time to understand how to ride some parts of the track. I think almost all the other guys tested here in February. I found a good feeling this afternoon and I think I am quite a bit better than I was in Jerez, so that is quite positive.”