Alex Lowes is trying to keep a lid on expectations after setting the pace for the third consecutive day in Australia. After topping the times on both days of the pre-event test, the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki rider was three tenths quicker than his nearest challenger in free practice but still sees areas for improvement, particularly when the temperatures pick up.
“The timesheets don’t tell the full story as we still have some work to do in the hotter temperatures. We were fast this morning on the cold track but it in the hot conditions there are some different requirements to make the lap-time. We tried quite a few things this afternoon, we probably also weren’t on the right tyre for the conditions and we still did a decent job, so we just need to continue moving along as we are. We have started well, the circuit is amazing and my GSX-R is just the weapon to ride around here. I’m happy enough, we’ll keep working hard tomorrow and see what it brings – step by step!”
Teammate Randy de Puniet is under pressure heading into FP3 on Saturday morning, currently sitting in tenth with the last automatic spot in Superpole 2. The Frenchman is riding through physical discomfort after injuring himself in testing on Monday but saw reasons to be optimistic in today’s sessions.
“It was not easy today with my injury but I think I had a good session, even if I am not satisfied with the position and the speed. We tried different settings today but I have liked the Suzuki since the first day here so the base was always good. Tomorrow I will focus on my lap times and race tyres, because today was more about getting the feeling on the bike and my movement with the injury. Now we will take the next step, of course I still have pain but I hope that each day it will be better; but I’m happy to be here and to focus on the work ahead. As a team we have said the most important thing is to finish both races and collect the points, even if the injury means that we may not quite achieve what I was expecting to before we arrived.”