Reigning British Superbike Champion Alex Lowes has proved he is the real deal by topping the time sheets during Monday’s WSBK test at Portimao.
It came as a surprise to everyone considering it was the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki rider’s first appearance at the Parkalgar circuit in Portugal. Add to that the fact that Lowes is new to the Yoshimura powered GSX-R1000, a machine which failed to set the series alight in 2013 with a 10th and 11th place finish to the championship in the hands of Jules Cluzel and Leon Camier.
23 year old Lowes said;
“We did a long run today and while the times were good, the most important thing was that it gave me a lot of confidence”
The Lincolnshire man also beat his team-mate and 2013 series runner-up Eugene Laverty by posting a time of 1:42.5, a tenth of a second ahead of Laverty.
According to unofficial times released by the Suzuki team at the test, Lowes topped the time sheets with Laverty a close second. Third was Jonathan Rea on the Pata Honda with a time of 1:42.9, Ducati’s David Giugliano with a 1:43 dead and Marco Melandri in fifth with a 1:43.1 on the Aprilia.
Welshman Chaz Davies came in sixth with a 1:43.2 on the Ducati, just ahead of Leon Haslam on the Honda with a 1:43.5.
Lowes went on to say;
“The test has been really good, I’m still learning a lot about the bike and obviously it’s a new track for me, so it was nice to have the opportunity to learn the track and still be quick.
We did a long run today and while the times were good, the most important thing was that it gave me a lot of confidence. We got a lot of information about the bike and it was good for me as well, as I’ve not done a race simulation since the last round of BSB.
I still need to improve myself a lot and work on the bike but we shouldn’t be too far away.
A massive thanks to the team, they’ve been working really hard, late nights and two tests back-to-back. I think everyone is excited, we are all getting on great; we know we need to work hard, we have a big challenge in front of us and it’s nice to do a good job.”
It certainly bodes well for the final test next month at Philip Island in Australia ahead of the opening round on the 23rd of February.