Alex secures place in Superpole 2 with fourth position in Friday practice
Alex Lowes claimed fourth position for the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team at a hot and humid Chang International Circuit this afternoon.
Securing his direct qualification into tomorrow’s Superpole 2, Alex put on a confident display as the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship returned to Buriram for round two’s opening free practice action.
With the track newly resurfaced, both Alex and teammate Guintoli began the first session carefully, evaluating the conditions on their respective YZF-R1’s. The Frenchman completed the morning in seventh, his best lap a 1’36.884, while his British teammate’s 1’36.994 followed closely behind in ninth.
As the track temperatures soared to 45°C, the afternoon’s times tumbled. Alex hit the mark early in the second session jumping to second with his first fast lap and holding fifth for the opening 20 minutes. At the half way point Guintoli advanced his time to 1’36.0 to take a top-five position.
The final minutes of the afternoon proved even more fruitful for the Yamaha riders; Lowes’ fastest lap – 1’35.224 – saw him eventually close the session in fourth, while Guintoli became one of only two riders to break the 1’35 barrier, securing second with a 1’34.811 on his final quick lap.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team returns to Buriram at 10:45hrs local time tomorrow for the final 15 minutes of free practice ahead of Superpole qualifying and the first race of the weekend at 16:00hrs local time.
Alex Lowes – 4th / 1’35.224 / 43 laps
“The grip on the track was really low this morning, and it feels a lot different from last year, so today was really about learning a new circuit with the new bike. We’ve completed plenty of laps without really needing to change the YZF-R1 that much, so after the two sessions it feels pretty good. I’m hoping to make a good step forward tomorrow, mainly with the feeling in the front, but we’re already in Superpole 2 so we’ll see what we can do tomorrow to qualify well for the afternoon’s race.”
Source: Yamaha Racing