Alex takes fifth in Sepang Superpole
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes rode a thrilling World Superbike Superpole contest to take fifth place at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia this afternoon.
A challenging morning had left Lowes out of the top-10, with a turn four crash in the third free practice, but as the asphalt temperatures rose to almost 50°C for Superpole 1, the British racer set out determined to advance with his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R.
His early appearance on the qualifier comfortably saw him into the second session with a 2’04.4 – six-tenths clear of the next rider – while his SP2 performance improved his lap-time to 2’04.018, lining him up on the second row of the grid – just behind Aprilia’s returning double World Champion Max Biaggi – for tomorrow’s races.
With the expected rains failing to materialise, Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes reaffirmed his Superpole dominance with a 2’03.240. However, the threat remains in the air promising to provide further drama as Voltcom Crescent Suzuki return to the Sepang track for tomorrow’s two 16-lap races, scheduled to start at 13:30 and 16:30hrs local time (06:30 and 09:30BST).
“Not a great morning as I made two mistakes, I don’t know maybe I just got out of bed on the wrong side! Maybe it was the best thing as it made me refocus for the FP4 and we did a good job. We realised where we had some issues with the bike, tried to make changes for qualifying and it did feel a lot better. I did a solid job in both sessions and my race tyre laps were ok, so if we can try something a bit more in that direction for tomorrow’s warm up it will be good. It’s going to be a tough couple of races, the front tyre seems to drop-off after about four laps and it becomes quite difficult. Riding in this heat is still quite new for me and I’m still trying to understand the best way to ride, but it was good, I enjoyed it and if I can do two solid races tomorrow I’ll be happy! To be on the second row for Suzuki – after what for me has been a really long time away – is great, my focus still feels good and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Thanks to the team – sorry for the ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ this morning! – they did a good job today, we will try to improve a couple of steps for the morning and have two good races.”
Source: Suzuki Racing