Alex Lowes admits that he and Suzuki found life much more difficult In the hotter conditions, giving them food for thought ahead of tomorrow’s races. Lowes headed into Superpole as the favourite despite a high-speed crash in FP4 but the early stoppage kept him back in fifth.
With warm weather forecast for Sunday as well, Lowes believes Suzuki will need to make changes to the GSX-R1000 in order to fight at the front of the field.
“Not as easy today, but we’ve still ended up in a good grid position. I made a mistake in the warmer temperatures in FP4 and tucked the front at turn one and enjoyed a 200kph body-slide but I’m 100% ok, and have to say a big thanks to the guys at RST for making me such strong leathers – the bike wasn’t as lucky! The boys did a great job getting the spare bike set up for Superpole but it was the first time I’d ever ridden it and didn’t go as fast as I would have liked on the race tyres but needed to play my way back into it after the crash. The target for tonight is to see how we can improve the GSX-R for today’s hot conditions which have completely changed the character of the track. Thanks to all the team for doing a great job, whatever the conditions tomorrow I’ll be giving it everything and looking for two really good finishes.”
Teammate Randy de Puniet had a disappointing debut in Superpole, getting knocked out in the first session to end up thirteenth on the grid. The French rider was the unfortunate victim of Leandro Mercado’s illegal decision to use two qualifying tyres in the first session and although he was later promoted to twelfth, de Puniet was annoyed not to get a chance in SP2.
“It wasn’t easy, but we worked well to adjust the bike and FP4 was really good, I had a good pace, but I knew for me that Superpole would be difficult because I struggle with my injuries to push for a one-time attack, needing some time to warm-up on the GSX-R. I should have been able to move into Superpole 2 but one rider in front of me used two qualifying tyres, unfortunately they did not discover this until later so I finished in third and was out and I am disappointed that I didn’t get the opportunity to go out again in Superpole 2. I will start the race in 12th, it’s not the best place to start but I hope to feel good, I just need to wait for two or three laps to feel good on the bike and hope that I don’t lose too many positions, can stay with the group and keep a good rhythm. It will be two difficult races tomorrow for me but I am here, which is the most important thing, and I will try to take as many points as I can.”