Lowes Leads Friday Practice In Thailand


Alex Lowes showed that his free practice pace in Australia wasn’t a one-off by setting the fastest time on Friday in Thailand. The Voltcom Crescent Suzuki rider dominated the early sessions at Phillip Island before crashes and mechanical problems saw his weekend unravel but the British youngster showed his potential again on the first day of running at the Chang International Circuit.

In sweltering temperatures, the first session was dominated by the Kawasakis with Jonathan Rea leading teammate Tom Sykes by three quarters of a second. Jordi Torres was the nearest challenger in third after edging out Chaz Davies, the Ducati rider being the only man to crash out during the morning session, sliding off at turn three.

Predictably on a brand new circuit, the track evolution saw times tumble in the afternoon session and with Rea only making a slight gain on his FP1 benchmark, Lowes took the opportunity to seize top spot with a 1:34.685, 0.066s quicker than the championship co-leader and half a second clear of the rest of the field.

Davies bounced back from his morning mishap to take third ahead of Leon Haslam who set an identical time to the Welshman. Much like his teammate, Tom Sykes found improvements harder to come by and slipped to fifth but reigning champion Sylvain Guintoli found almost a second to jump from tenth to sixth. Troy Bayliss backed up his claim that he would be much closer to his rivals in Thailand with seventh while Matteo Baiocco, Jordi Torres and the fit-again David Salom rounded out the top ten.

With one more session to go before the Superpole entrants are decided, Michael van der Mark and Randy de Puniet have most work to do, the rookies lying in twelfth and thirteenth respectively while fellow newcomer Nicolas Terol has an even steeper hill to climb after ending day one in fifteenth.

 

CHANG THAI ROUND: FREE PRACTICE CLASSIFICATION

TOP TEN AFTER FP3 AUTOMATICALLY QUALIFY FOR SUPERPOLE 2

1 Alex Lowes Suzuki Voltcom Crescent Suzuki 1:34.685
2 Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 1:34.751
3 Chaz Davies Ducati Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team 1:35.288
4 Leon Haslam Aprilia Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils 1:35.288
5 Tom Sykes Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 1:35.457
6 Sylvain Guintoli Honda PATA Honda World Superbike 1:35.570
7 Troy Bayliss Ducati Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team 1:35.690
8 Matteo Baiocco Ducati Althea Racing 1:35.913
9 Jordi Torres Aprilia Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils 1:35.943
10 David Salom Kawasaki Team Pedercini 1:36.055
11 Leandro Mercado Ducati Barni Racing Team 1:36.105
12 Michael van der Mark Honda PATA Honda World Superbike 1:36.218
13 Randy de Puniet Suzuki Voltcom Crescent Suzuki 1:36.263
14 Sylvain Barrier BMW BMW Motorrad Italia SBK 1:36.308
15 Nicolas Terol Ducati Althea Racing 1:36.391
16 Leon Camier MV Agusta MV Agusta Reparto Corse 1:36.940
17 Roman Ramos Kawasaki Team Go Eleven 1:37.632
18 Niccolo Canepa EBR Team Hero EBR 1:37.692
19 Christophe Ponsson Kawasaki Grillini SBK Team 1:37.824
20 Santiago Barragan Kawasaki Grillini SBK Team 1:37.964
21 Anucha Nakcharoensri Honda YSS TS Racing 1:38.174
22 Greg Gildenhuys Kawasaki Team Pedercini 1:38.767
23 Larry Pegram EBR Team Hero EBR 1:38.772
24 Imre Toth BMW BMW Team Toth 1:39.256
25 Ireneusz Sikora BMW BMW Team Toth 1:40.719
26 Chanon Chumjai BMW RAC Oil Racing Team 1:40.810