Phillip Island WorldSBK test: Lowes desperate for dry laps

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

Alex Lowes’ quest to get in enough dry laps to make real friends with his KRT machine was attenuated by red flags, occasional light rain and also by a slow crash just as he was about to go for a long run.

Lowes was unharmed by his slow spill from his ZX-10RR at the hairpin but it put paid to evaluating anything on worn tyres.

“I had a crash at turn four. I was on what was going to be a race run to the end, so that was a shame. It’s funny because I was doing a lot of laps this morning and then lost the last part of the session,” Lowes told bikesportnews.com.

“This afternoon, we missed the first hour because of the weather. It’s been like that every day on the bike so far. I need to do more laps on the bike; hopefully tomorrow we can get consistent weather for two good, dry sessions.”

Lowes is still not quite there in terms of a base setting as a result of losing so much winter test time to bad weather.

I just need to understand it and try to work out a good base setting for me and the bike, I’ve not quite got that yet. Obviously, I’ve done a handful – 20 or 25 – dry laps this year. After riding the other bike for so long it’s going to take a bit of time but I didn’t feel too bad today, really.

“I was doing 31s on the race run and think I would have been on similar-ish pace to the other guys. Just a few tenths. We have another day tomorrow, so it doesn’t matter!”

All Lowes hopes for is one final clean testing day before qualifying and racing starts in a few days. He may or may not get it as forecasts are for the possibility of rain. “Obviously I would like more dry laps because I haven’t done many and need to learn. The target is to keep trying to improve but I don’t think it was too bad today.

“At the end I lost five minutes, when a lot of people did a time attack and the times always change a lot. Around here it’s going to be about the tyres at the end of the race. So far they don’t look like they’re wearing as bad as in other years. The game plan for me tomorrow is to do as many laps as possible – and hopefully it’s dry.”

Lowes explained his crash still further. “It’s easy to say you felt really comfortable when you have a crash there but I was just coming in a bit hot, the wind was pushing a bit there. I thought I’d run a bit wide but I crashed and that was it, really. In terms of feeling on the bike, I feel good.

“I feel like it suits me well and just want to have a good, dry day tomorrow to get the last bit of preparation done for the first round. This test is always one where it’s easy to worry too much. I’ve been on both sides; a couple of years I was fastest in the test, then never had a podium. This year I just want a nice, calm approach to be able to turn it on when it matters.”