Positive start to Phillip Island race weekend for Alex
In relatively cool and completely dry conditions the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team got its 2017 season underway with two 60-minute practice sessions at the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit.
Alex Lowes finished a strong sixth in the rankings, 0.628 seconds from the fastest rider, despite concentrating all his efforts in finding a chassis and race tyre combination with which to take on the challenge of race one on Saturday 25th February. He qualified directly into Superpole 2, which will take place after a 25-minute Free Practice 3 session on Saturday morning.
Alex will use the final free practice session tomorrow to make ready for Superpole 1 and then the opening 22-lap race of the year, which takes place at 15.00 local time.
Alex Lowes – 6th / 1’30.817 / 55 laps
I have done as much as I can in every session really – I think I have done three race simulations on the 2017 R1 now! I had a small problem in the end of the race run today but I felt quite good. I would like to be a bit closer to the riders in front but it looks like we are the ones right behind them now. Two solid results in that position; I would be quite happy to start the year like that. I am getting faster and every race run I have done I have been a tenth or two better. We are going in the right direction and you never know what can happen in the races. If I make sure I ride like I have been doing, and make sure I am there at the end and enjoy it – we can do quite well. It has been quite cool today but tomorrow and the day after should be quite a bit different. I did a race simulation in 45 degrees of track temperature in the recent tests and today did one in 30 degrees. I feel I am in a decent position and have a range to work in, and I do not think some other people have that. We also managed to improve our best lap time this afternoon but all I have really been focusing on is long runs.