Alex Lowes and Randy de Puniet got to grips with their new Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000s at a damp Circuito de Jerez in Spain as preparations for the 2015 FIM Superbike World Championship got underway.
Despite the Monday morning sunshine, initial proceedings for the first day of testing were delayed as the tarmac was allowed to dry – the Spanish circuit having suffered from heavy rain storms overnight. Both de Puniet and Lowes used the time to acquaint themselves with their new team structures before taking to the track on their respective Yoshimura-powered GSX-Rs at around Midday.
Looking to evaluate the 2015 engine regulations, Lowes accomplished 18 laps in the drying conditions, while de Puniet circulated for 17 before the rain returned. Undeterred by the heavy downpour, the Frenchman resumed his study of the Suzuki Superbike, completing a further 15 laps to conclude the day satisfied with the development so far.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will return to the track at 10:00hrs local time (09:00GMT) tomorrow morning to continue work on the 2015 preparations.
“Today has been really good. It’s been great to get down to work with the new crew, obviously the weather has been against us so in terms of any real testing of parts we don’t quite know yet because the track hasn’t been good enough, but it’s been a great first day back at school and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Randy de Puniet:
“We were not so lucky with the weather today, the track condition was not very good as it didn’t fully dry, but I did about 20 laps in these conditions and I was happy as the feeling was quite good. We decided to try the bike in the wet and the feeling was really, really good, the lap time was very fast; and I was immediately confident on the bike and with the Pirellis. We have already adjusted the mapping and the suspension and it is nice to have a good bike already; now I just need to adjust my riding style. I am happy and I’m hoping for dry conditions tomorrow to allow us to improve a lot but I think it is a good start. The feeling with the team is good, they are very professional; and I’m excited to start the season!”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“A frustrating day with the weather here in Jerez, but we’ve still got through some valuable work - with Alex taking the first steps toward evaluating the new 2015 engine specification and Randy making his first laps both in dry and wet conditions on the GSX-R. Testing is a job of work as well as trying to go as quick as possible, you have to make sure everything is evaluated thoroughly and methodically and sometimes changeable weather conditions actually allows you to do that in a calmer atmosphere. That was the case today, we are here for another four days and we will ensure we make as much progress as possible.”