Strong opening day for Alex at Magny Cours
The opening day of action at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours concluded with Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes comfortably fifth in the combined times after two successful set-up sessions.
Less than 0.4-of-a-second separated fifth from second position at the close of play this afternoon, with Lowes’ best lap – a 1’38.390 – set on his second fast-lap on new tyres.
The British racer remains pleased with the progress made throughout the two 45-minute sessions, despite not hitting the planned number of laps on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R due to a gear-shifting sensor issue mid-way through the afternoon practice.
Saturday’s morning session will see him concentrate on a longer run to cement the current feeling but Lowes is confident the set-up work completed today is heading firmly in the right direction.
Kawasaki’s newly-crowned World Champion Jonathan Rea continued his reign at the top of the times, setting the pace with a 1’37.750 as the autumnal sunshine warmed the French track to 27°C by late afternoon.
Alex and teammate Randy de Puniet return to Magny-Cours as Saturday’s action begins with the final timed-for-qualifying session at 09:45hrs local time (08:45BST), the 30-minute free practice following at 12:30hrs (11:30BST). Superpole commences at 15:00hrs (14:00BST) with the top-12 shootout on track at 15:25hrs (14:25BST).
“We had a decent start today, the bike feels quite good and I’m enjoying the track and looking forward to tomorrow. I think we have decent pace, but there is plenty still to work on overnight. The lads did a great job between session one and two – working on stopping the bike and getting through the faster chicanes – so if we can take another step tomorrow we shouldn’t be too far away. We didn’t get as many laps in as we had wanted today – due to a few minor issues – so hopefully we can get more down tomorrow, build-up the consistency and start understanding it a little bit more over the longer race distance.”