Lowes Sets Friday Practice Pace In Australia


Alex Lowes showed that his testing performance was no flash in the pan by setting the pace in Friday practice ahead of this weekend’s season opener at Phillip Island. The Suzuki rider set a scorching pace in the morning and although he wasn’t quite as quick when temperatures climbed in the afternoon, he retained a three tenth advantage over Aprilia’s Jordi Torres.

Picking up exactly where he left off in Tuesday’s test, Lowes broke straight into the 1:31s with his first lap of the morning. The Briton improved to a 1:30.855 two laps later to beat his testing benchmark and open up a six tenth advantage over his nearest challengers. Torres came closest to threatening the Suzuki, setting a 1:31.214 with his final lap of the morning, while Tom Sykes also left it late to grab third.

The afternoon session was dominated by the Aprilia riders with Torres leading a 1-2 for the Red Devils-run team ahead of Leon Haslam. The Spanish rookie didn’t better his FP1 team and subsequently stayed in second but Haslam did make a marginal improvement, consolidating fourth ahead of Jonathan Rea and Nicolas Terol.

The big climber in the afternoon session was Michael van der Mark who gained almost three quarters of a second to secure seventh spot overnight. The Dutchman is the sole Honda in Superpole 2 as it stands with defending champion Sylvain Guintoli languishing down in twelfth behind Chaz Davies, David Salom, Randy de Puniet and Leon Camier.

Another big name lying outside the top ten is Troy Bayliss after a difficult return to World Superbikes for the three-time champion. Technical problems restricted him to three laps in the morning and although he enjoyed more track time in the afternoon, the home favourite could only climb as high as eighteenth.

 

SWANN INSURANCE AUSTRALIAN ROUND: FRIDAY PRACTICE CLASSIFICATION

Top Ten Riders After FP3 Automatically Qualify For Superpole 2

1 Alex Lowes Suzuki Voltcom Crescent Suzuki 1:30.855
2 Jordi Torres Aprilia Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils 1:31.214
3 Tom Sykes Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 1:31.403
4 Leon Haslam Aprilia Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils 1:31.466
5 Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 1:31.541
6 Nicolas Terol Ducati Althea Racing 1:31.614
7 Michael van der Mark Honda PATA Honda World Superbike 1:31.693
8 Chaz Davies Ducati Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team 1:31.748
9 David Salom Kawasaki Team Pedercini 1:31.855
10 Randy de Puniet Suzuki Voltcom Crescent Suzuki 1:31.881
11 Leon Camier MV Agusta MV Agusta Reparto Corse 1:32.135
12 Sylvain Guintoli Honda PATA Honda World Superbike 1:32.329
13 Sylvain Barrier BMW BMW Motorrad Italia SBK 1:32.393
14 Matteo Baiocco Ducati Althea Racing 1:32.565
15 Leandro Mercado Ducati Barni Racing Team 1:33.060
16 Matthew Walters Kawasaki Team Pedercini 1:33.091
17 Roman Ramos Kawasaki Team Go Eleven 1:33.193
18 Troy Bayliss Ducati Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team 1:33.490
19 Jed Metcher Kawasaki Race Center – Demolition Plus 1:33.814
20 Niccolo Canepa EBR Team Hero EBR 1:33.974
21 Santiago Barragan Kawasaki Grillini SBK Team 1:34.321
22 Larry Pegram EBR Team Hero EBR 1:34.594
23 Gabor Rizmayer BMW BMW Team Toth 1:34.633
24 Christophe Ponsson Kawasaki Grillini SBK Team 1:36.116
25 Imre Toth BMW BMW Team Toth 1:36.699