Phillip Island WorldSBK: Lowes focusing on tyre wear

Picture: GeeBee Images

Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes went from second fastest on day one of the recent Phillip Island official pre-season tests to ninth on day two, after suffering a very high speed crash early on his lap – his first big off for some time.

Being second on day one, Lowes was continuing a good run of testing form, until his luck changed.

“The second day in Australia was interrupted by what was a bit of a strange crash at turn one, which I was lucky to walk away from but, overall, preseason testing has gone really well,” Lowes told bikesportnews.com

“This is a strange track,” he said. “I remember in 2014 when I arrived on the first day in WorldSBK, and I was in the top three anyway. I thoughy, ‘This is quite easy round here’. You can get away with riding it a bit more like a 600, sweeping lines and everybody is quite close together. It is a good track for the start of the year but it is also a strange one. A lot of people can ride fast here with a bit of balls and a bit of corner speed.”

Lowes lost some valuable track time with his day-two off, and may need every minute of track time to pre-race to make his best showings in the races.

“It’s always a strange test here, as it’s fairly easy to do one fast lap, but it’s the last half of the race that is critical at this track,” said Lowes. “So we spent a lot of time at the test working to improve tyre endurance, trying not to work the rear tyre in particular too hard, with positive results.

“There are still a couple of areas in which we can improve but we’re in a much better position going into this weekend than our lap times from the second test day would indicate. Now we just need to keep working, especially with the tyres, if we are to start the season with good results here in Australia.”

Lowes was ninth overall at Phillip Island, after losing his available track time on the final day of pre-season training.

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