Alex Lowes has aired his 'frustration' at being unable to get on the front row for the opening round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship after dislocating his ankle in an accident during FP3.
The British rider had been the revelation in the run up to the decisive qualifying session, Lowes setting the pace in both FP2 and FP3 to go into Superpole – on paper at least – as the rider to beat.
However, a high-side during the latter stages of FP3 would have consequences for Lowes as he picked up a dislocated ankle, even if the man himself insists he got the best from the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki during Superpole, going as far as to describing the bike as being 'better' than the rider.
Nonetheless, Lowes remains satisfied with fifth place in the circumstances and is confident he can still be a factor come race day.
“I'm frustrated more than anything. I think we've made some really good steps with the Suzuki GSX-R. Dale, Russell, Ash and Lez have worked really, really hard with the bike and Tim, Davide and the whole team have worked to give me the bike that I've wanted.
“We've improved every time that I've gone out, obviously I've made a mistake this morning - a small mistake but with big consequences - and they've had to work really hard to get me back out, so fair play to them. I felt I did as good as I could do in the qualifying, my foot was holding me back a bit and I really need to work on that tomorrow because the bike is better than me at the moment and it's frustrating because I think we can do so much better.
“It's nice to be injured and still be fifth, I think people would have taken that if I was fit! I'm happy, I've been fast every session and I believe that I can go well and it's now a case of trying to get my ankle to the best that it can be and have two good races.”