Yamaha’s Alex Lowes has completed his final Suzuka Eight-Hours test ahead of the July race with some new chassis parts going on to the specially-built R1.
The WorldSBK star, along with team-mate Kats Nakasuga, put in a full day and a half on the Suzuka-spec bike, which is different in specification his usual steed, before spending time on pitstop drills.
Nakasuga set a 2’06.416 lap time that would make him the second fastest of the day while Lowes was also comfortably in the 2‘06s, showing signs of the team’s speed on this year’s TECH21-liveried YZF-R1.
In the afternoon session, Nakasuga had a light fall but he was un-injured and damage to the bike was minimal.
Meanwhile, Lowes improved his time by almost a second from day one, going just as fast as his Japanese teammate with a 2’06.475 lap time for third overall.
“Today Nakasuga-san and I tried some different settings and we both found a really good feeling. For me, even though it’s still an R1, it’s quite different to the one I ride in WorldSBK so it’s really important to get a lot of laps in,” said Lowes.
“We made a lot of progress at this test with our tyre choice and with the pit stop practice. So now I’m headed straight back to the UK for a promotional event and then to Donington for the next Superbike race.
“Then we’ve got the race at Laguna Seca and then we’ll be back here for the Eight-Hours. It’s a pretty hard schedule, but I’m planning to take it easy for a few days in the US after Laguna Seca so I can come back to Suzuka in the best condition possible.”