Stunning Superpole session lines Alex up fifth on Donington grid
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes will start his home World Superbike race at Donington Park from the middle of the second row after securing fifth place in today’s Superpole.
A stunning performance on race rubber saw Lowes take provisional pole twice in the early stages of this afternoon’s qualifying session with two consecutively quick laps – the best an incredible 1’27.670, the fastest ever recorded Superbike lap at Donington on a race tyre.
Switching to qualifying tyres, the local racer continued to improve his time before a run-off at turn one cut his second attempt short, leaving him fifth in the times.
A promising morning had already seen Lowes improve slightly on his Friday best, setting a 1’28.530 midway through the 30 minute session despite the 50% reduction in track temperature from the previous afternoon.
Barely warming from the morning’s 12°C temperatures, a grey and heavily overcast day greeted the Leicestershire circuit as Tom Sykes was awarded Superpole, setting a 1’27.071 on his Kawasaki.
Lowes returns to his home track at 12:00BST tomorrow with Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team-mate de Puniet, for the first of two 23-lap races. The second instalment of Donington Park action commences at 15:00BST.
“I’m happy with today! Obviously we have made some good steps with the bike and the team is working well. It doesn’t really feel like we’ve done much today – with the one practice session and then Superpole – but I’ve done my best lap around Donington, fifth on the grid, we know we can get good starts on the GSX-R and my race-pace looks really good. So a good night’s sleep tonight and I’ll give everything I’ve got tomorrow to get the best results for the team. It’s really nice to see the fans out there, give them a bit of a wave and hopefully we can put on a good show for them tomorrow in my special livery!”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“Everyone in the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team had hoped, following huge additional efforts since Imola to find solutions, that we had made some progress. And over the course of three sessions yesterday and qualifying today I think we can be confident that we’ve turned the corner and got a better understanding of the electronics system. The qualifying result, and Alex setting by far the best race-tyre lap of the weekend with an incredible 27.6, feels as good as a pole position, and as the bike continues to improve Alex’s confidence will rebuild and we can start racing properly again. Congratulations to Alex on helping us turn the corner, and to everyone involved in the team on both sides of the garage for sticking with it.”
Source: Suzuki Racing