Challenging Friday for Alex Lowes at Laguna Seca
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team put in a determined performance on Friday at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for round eight of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship.
Both riders put in the effort under the scorching California sun with Alex Lowes ending the day eighth overall on the combined timesheets to make it through directly to SP2.
Alex likes the Laguna Seca circuit and started off the day full of confidence following his second podium of the season last time out at Misano. In near perfect conditions the 26-year-old British rider started steadily in FP1, setting a 1:24.635 towards the end of the session that saw him eighth fastest, 1.210s off the pace of the man at the top.
Two red flags, one at the start of the session and one right at the end, disrupted his efforts in FP2 as Lowes focused on improving the front-end feel with his R1 but his hard work paid off as he improved to a 1:24.330 just before the second red flag came out.
When the session re-started, there was just three minutes to go and Lowes was pushing hard to improve his time further. Unfortunately, a crash at turn 3 saw his chances of improving disappear but he walked away unhurt and ended the day eighth overall on the combined timesheets, 0.905s behind the leader. This means Alex heads straight through to SP2 on Saturday morning.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team are back in action in Laguna Seca on Saturday at 9am local time for Free Practice 3, with SP1 scheduled for 11:00am, SP2 11:25am and the 25-lap Race 1 due to start at 14:00pm.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team – 8th 1:24.330
“Today we struggled to find a good feeling with the bike. It was frustrating, as last year we were quick here but at the moment I am not feeling comfortable on the bike, especially on corner entry. At Laguna Seca, if you don’t have confidence with the bike it can make it really hard to push for a fast time. I had a small crash at the end when I was pushing, but I am fine and it didn’t really affect anything. We were working in the right direction towards the end of the session and I was improving my times. We have some work to do overnight, we will look at the data and do everything we can to allow us to make a step tomorrow. I am looking forward to getting back out on track tomorrow and hopefully being able to fight more towards the front.”