Australia beckons for the Lowes twins as both Sam and Alex have key dates at the Phillip Island circuit. Sam will be the first in action at the coastal circuit, with a three day MotoGP test (15-17 February) as he continues to get to grips with his Aprilia Gresini bike, while Alex will follow in his tyre tracks with a final test aboard his Pata Yamaha prior to the opening round of the World Superbike Championship there at the end of the month.
Alex is ready for the challenge: “Testing is going well, we’ve made a few improvements to the bike and there have been some staff changes, not directly my mechanics but on the electronics and management side. It has all gone good and I feel more comfortable and that is building my confidence after the first two tests.
“The changes to the bike really are a lot of little things, looking at the chassis, the electronics and corner entry, the swing arm giving more feel and that is making a difference. And, importantly I feel the best that I have been in 18 months after a rough time with injuries at time when I didn’t have the package to be at the front, though I learned a lot then.
“I feel fantastic and now it is my time to step up and I need to be up there challenging Jonny Rea, Tom Sykes, Chaz Davies – people say it is all about the bikes, but is about the package, the bike and the rider. The racing needs to be better, it needs more bikes at the front. The changes of grid for the second race are quite positive and will be interesting.
“The opening round is Phillip Island, one of my favourites though it has not been kind in terms of results, something that I intend to put right, starting the year on a high note,” said Alex who was speaking at the opening the Clip and Climb Fitness Centre in Derby opened by Leon Haslam’s sister Emma.
“The Haslam family has helped me a lot over the years and this is a fantastic facility they have – I hope that it goes well for them,” said Alex, with Sam echoing those thoughts: “We are really close to the family and hope this is good for them – it is good for training, nice to get the fun aspect into it. Between us, everything becomes a competition and I am really impressed with the facility.”
Sam flies out to Australia on Saturday to be ready and acclimatised to his MotoGP test. “I’ll be trying hard, testing hard, riding the new bike, doing all the normal things, getting comfortable – I know that we will have new front forks to work with and suspension works to do.
“I am getting used to the bike, it has a lot more power, these are the best bikes in the World – you need to push them hard to get the best out of them. I am getting to grips with it, getting closer and will be ready for opening race in Qatar.”