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Rookie Lowes signs off on top at Portimao
21 January 2014
World Superbike rookie Alex Lowes unofficially topped the time sheets following the two-day test at Portimao, which concluded on Monday.
Reigning MCE British Superbike champion Lowes was credited with the fastest lap in Portugal on the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki in 1m 42.5s, narrowly ahead of team-mate and last year's championship runner-up, Eugene Laverty, who managed a time of 1m 42.6s on the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000.
According to times released by Suzuki, Jonathan Rea was third fastest on the Pata Honda (1m 42.9s) ahead of Ducati's Davide Giugliano (1m 43.0s) and Aprilia's Marco Melandri (1m 43.1s).
Chaz Davies (Ducati) was sixth with a lap in 1m 43.2s ahead of Rea's Honda team-mate Leon Haslam (1m 43.5s).
It was a confidence-boosting performance for Lowes, who was making his maiden appearance at Portimao after testing for two days at Almeria in Spain last week.
"The test has been really good, I'm still learning a lot about the bike and obviously it's a new track for me, so it was nice to have the opportunity to learn the track and still be quick," said Lowes.
"We did a long run today and while the times were good, the most important thing was that it gave me a lot of confidence. We got a lot of information about the bike and it was good for me as well, as I've not done a race simulation since the last round of BSB.
"I still need to improve myself a lot and work on the bike but we shouldn't be too far away," he added.
“A massive thanks to the team, they've been working really hard, late nights and two tests back-to-back. I think everyone is excited, we are all getting on great; we know we need to work hard, we have a big challenge in front of us and it's nice to do a good job.”
Lowes and Laverty - who was fastest on the opening day of the test on Sunday - concentrated on refining the 2014 Ohlins suspension and new electronic control strategies.
The team's next outing will be at Phillip Island in Australia ahead of the opening round of the World Championship next month.
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