Promising start for Alex on home ground at Donington
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team got off to an encouraging start on Friday at Donington Park, round six of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship.
Blue skies and glorious sunshine were the order of the day as home hero Alex Lowes and teammate Michael van der Mark both secured their progress into SP2, setting the sixth and seventh best lap times respectively.
Alex started consistently in the morning session, progressively improving and working on his R1s setup to end FP1 in ninth with a 1:28.876, 1.048s behind the leader. The British rider lives 10 miles away from the Donington Park circuit, and relishing the chance to ride in front of his fans, improved his time in FP2 almost immediately.
The 26-year-old had a small off at turn 10, but re-joined and improved by half a second to set a 1:28.374, securing sixth on the combined timesheets and finishing 0.634s off the pace of the leader.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team return to action on Saturday at 9:05am GMT for FP3, with qualifying beginning at 11am and the 23-lap race at 15:00pm.
“Today was a bit of a mixed day. Unfortunately, we are still behind the leaders, so we need to do something tonight to try to close the gap. I had decent pace on old tyres, my lap times didn’t drop off too much, but we need to make a small step to get the result I want at my home race. I had a small crash at the Melbourne loop, as the last sector is a part of the track I am struggling with at the minute, and I was just in a little bit hot on the brakes. I was trying to work out whether I was losing time on the brakes or on corner exit. Clearly, I found the limit on the brakes, so we have to work on our corner exit tomorrow! I will try my best and the team are doing a great job. It is fantastic to be riding in front of the British fans! There were loads of people out there today, we had great weather and its been a nice start. We should make a small step tomorrow so I hope I can fight for the podium.”