Yoshimura Suzuki rider Alex Lowes might claim that he’s still got a lot to learn after switching to a new track, new tyres and a new machine for this year’s Suzuka 8 Hour, but the World Superbike regular is making rapid progress alongside Takuya Tsuda and BSB regular Josh Waters.
Finishing the opening day of practice for the iconic race only third quickest behind the Yamaha Factory squad and Japanese regulars Toho Racing, Lowes says there’s still more to come as he gets to grip with the package.
“I’m still learning the tyres and the track, but we got a lot of dry time today and I was able to be fast and consistent. I’m working well with the boys, and I’ve adjusted well to the Bridgestone tyres and to the different electronics. It’s been a lot to learn in the last two or three weeks, but I’m riding well, I’m doing a good job, and it’s nice to be competitive.”
And confidence is important to the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki rider, admitting that after a poor by his own standards start to the WSB year, he’s happy to be fast again.
“The Yamaha team here are quick, but we’re as quick as everyone else out there. I’ve obviously not had great confidence in the world championship in the past few months, so it’s nice for me to prove that I can still ride fast compared to other fast guys.
“I’m enjoying the bike, I’m enjoying the track, and I’m looking forwards to my first 8 Hour now! The circuit is great – it’s a long lap so it’s challenging, but it’s got a bit of everything."