Solid progress for Alex Lowes as Imola weekend gets underway
The Pata Yamaha Official World Superbike Team made the most of the gorgeous weather at Imola on Friday as they kicked off round five of the FIM 2017 Superbike World Championship.
The picturesque setting led to some good progress on track too as both Alex Lowes and teammate Michael van der Mark adapted well to the Imola circuit on their 2017 specification Yamaha YZF-R1s, finishing Friday in sixth and eighth positions respectively on the combined timesheets and ensuring direct progress through to SP2.
Alex had a slightly compromised morning session as he struggled to find the right front-end setup on his R1. After making some adjustments, he improved towards the end of FP1 to finish in 11th with a 1:48.564. The British rider used the warmer afternoon session to work on his race setup, focusing on corner entry improvements.
The 26-year-old left it until his last lap in the afternoon to set a 1:48.089, ending the day in sixth overall and feels confident he can make another step on Saturday at a track he enjoys.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK team return to the track on Saturday morning at Imola for FP3 at 8.45am local time, with qualifying starting at 10:30am and the 19-lap race scheduled for 13:00 pm local time.
“We had quite a difficult day, to be honest, Ive not quite felt 100% on the bike and with its setup, but weve been chipping away and we have got a lot of information. The biggest place where I have struggled is on corner entry and because I cant get that right at the moment, I am also losing a lot on exit, so thats what we will work on tonight. I feel like we have done okay and I am hoping to find two or three tenths tonight to put us in a good position tomorrow. In general I am quite happy, I love the track and of course, it is Pata our title sponsors home round, so its almost like a home race. I am looking forward to the races and hopefully tonight we can make a couple of steps.”