Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes leaves the Circuito de Jerez in Spain today top of the combined-times after four-days testing in preparation for the 2015 FIM Superbike World Championship.
Impressive pace shown by Lowes during Tuesday’s dry-running was enough to retain the fastest time from his closest rival, Kawasaki’s newly-mounted Jonathan Rea. Heavy rain marred the majority of the team’s final day and Lowes chose not to test in the wet conditions, completing just three-laps on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R.
Lowes’ new Voltcom Crescent team-mate Randy de Puniet concluded his first test aboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000 in fifth position, having gained confidence quickly with both his new team and machine. Braving the Spanish rain for 22 laps today, the Frenchman improved his wet-running pace from Monday afternoon, to enter the winter break confident with the progression made throughout the week.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will now return to its UK headquarters to continue the winter preparations ahead of the opening pre-season test at Portugal’s Portimao Circuit, scheduled for January 21st, 2015.
“It’s been a good week, I’m happy to finish the year feeling confident and with a renewed optimism about the 2015 bike. It’s slightly frustrating that we didn’t get more of an opportunity to test everything we had planned but I’m happy with the overall performance. I’m feeling positive and stress-free heading into the winter which is always important. Thanks to the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team for this year; we will try to improve next year and come back strong in pre-season testing in January.”
Randy de Puniet:
“It has been a very good test for us. Everything was new for me but the adaptation was quick, the team is very professional and so it was very easy for me to work and to understand the bike. I’m very satisfied because we ran in the dry and the wet and in both conditions we were quick so I’m confident. It’s good to finish the year on a positive note and to be ready for next year.
“I have many things to learn over the winter with the new riding style and I will watch videos of the Superbike races to try to understand many things, but I’m quite confident. I can leave here in a good place, concentrate on my training and be fit for the first race.”
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
“Today’s very poor weather meant that we just did some limited running in the wet which was particularly useful to Randy, as it’s a new bike to him in these conditions. Overall, the four-day test has been a significant success; the 2015 Yoshimura engine has been a revelation and gives us a good step-forward compared to 2014, and the riders and the team have all worked professionally to make sure that all the testing has properly evaluated all the options.
“Phillip Island and the first race of 2015 is really not very far away, and there is still an awful lot to achieve to optimise our performance before then, but this week in Jerez has been an extremely good start to the new season.”
Jerez – Unofficial four-day combined times: 1. Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) 1’40.730: 2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) 1’40.738: 3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’40.853: 4. Leon Haslam (Aprilia) 1’40.865: 5. Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) 1’41.296: 6. Michel Fabrizio (Aprilia) 1’41.384: 7. Michael van der Mark (Honda) 1’41.437: 8. Sylvain Guintoli (Honda) 1’41.639: 9. Leon Camier (MV Agusta) 1’44.905.