Alex Lowes optimistic after Barcelona test: “Good and busy… happy with my consistency in the race run!”

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) had a mixed day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, finishing in ninth place with a best time of 1’40.985s but suffering two crashes when he lost the front, damaging his ZX-10RR. The first crash occurred just before the halfway point of Day 2, which featured a slow start due to overnight rain, with riders generally heading out an hour into the day which began at 10:00 Local Time (UTC+1). He was still optimistic despite the crashes, after his strong race pace he showed throughout the test.

The Championship leader was one of the exceptions to riders not going out early, with the #22 one of the first to head out, around 45 minutes into the day, for a couple of expletory laps. He then began his testing programme in earnest, racking up 77 laps as he finished in the top ten for KRT, once again leading their charge as the Championship leader looks to continue his strong form from Australia after his double Down Under in the season-opener.

Explaining his crash and his day, Lowes, who ventured out on track around an hour after, said: “It was good and busy. I worked a lot today. It’s always hard because people are putting tyres in. I did a race simulation, trying to look after the tyres especially the front; this track seems quite low grip and critical on the front. I was happy with my consistency in the race run, it was certainly a lot better than last year with similar conditions. We’re making steps forward but so’s everyone else. I was happy enough. The steps we made with the bike were good. I used a SCQ at the end, but the second last exit wasn’t really ready for it, so my three laps were all the same. I didn’t go any faster on the Q. My crashes were just small front-end crashes. They were my fault. We’re trying stuff on the bike, electronics, so maybe the setting we had didn’t work.”

Overall, across the two days, the British rider racked up nearly 150 laps, with the four-time race winner focusing a lot of his time on the Catalunya Round next week, declaring after Day 1 he had an improved feeling at this venue compared to other years. His two crashes on Friday were his third of the test, following a slow spill at Turn 10 when on 18-lap old tyres on Day 1. Despite his three falls, he was optimistic about the upcoming round.

He added: “I think my pace is good, but until we get there, we don’t know. It’s been good because, Australia with the new surface was really grippy and this is one of the least grippy tracks. It’s important to come here, get a feel for the stuff we tried in the winter; the electronics and the setting, more the setting than the software as it’s a lot different to last year. I’m a lot happier now I know it works. I did the race simulation today; I’ve got the experience of that. We’re definitely better prepared even though I had a couple of crashes. I’m happier after the test than before the test because we didn’t know what to expect.”

What can Alex Lowes achieve next week during the Catalunya Round? Find out using the WorldSBK VideoPass!


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