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Lowes sets scorching pace at chilly Phillip Island

19 February 2013

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Yakhnich Yamaha's Sam Lowes continued to set the World Supersport pace in Australia as he dipped well below Joan Lascorz's existing lap record on day two of pre-season testing at Phillip Island.

The Briton shrugged off intermittent rain and cooler temperatures to dominate over the course of the 110-minute session, surpassing the existing marker of 1min 33.847secs on three occasions to end the session with a new best of 1min 33.507secs.

At one point commanding an advantage over the opposition by more than a second, Lowes was eventually pegged back to just a tenth by reigning champion Kenan Sofuoglu. However, while the Turk was close on paper, his final effort was his first to break the 1min 34secs barrier, a benchmark that Lowes has surpassed repeatedly in testing so far.

Though persistent drizzle would cause problems for some, particularly at the Honda Hairpin with several riders experiencing off-track moments, a flurry of late laps would decide the final order of the session.

In the end, Gabor Talmacsi would emerge in third position, the Hungarian racer maintaining his impressive pre-season form to lead Honda's charge in third place.

Behind him, Sofuoglu's team-mate Fabien Foret was fourth quickest on the sister Mahi Kawasaki, while Lowes's Yakhnich counterpart made a late leap up the order to end the session in fifth place, ahead of Pata Honda's Michael van der Mark.

Elsewhere, Fabio Menghi was an unfamiliar name inside the top ten in seventh place, the Italian showing well ahead of his second season with VFT Yamaha, despite ending his session in the turn eleven gravel trap.

Nonetheless, he remained quicker than local wild-card Josh Hook and David Salom, while Irishman Jack Kennedy made superb gains between the sessions to leap to tenth place on the Rivamoto Honda having been down in 26th at the end of the first day of testing.

Having been amongst the pace setters on the first day, ParkinGO MV Agusta pairing Roberto Rolfo and Christian Iddon found themselves outside the top twenty in 21st and 23rd respectively, while Sheridan Morais's week went from bad-to-worse as he suffered a technical issue on the PTR Honda to go with the crash that limited his track time on day one.


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