Alex Lowes says there is still much for him to improve on ahead of qualifying for the ninth World Superbike round at Laguna Seca, despite the newcomer ending his first day around the American venue in fifth overall.

One of three top riders to be trialling Laguna Seca for the first time - along with Jonathan Rea and Loris Baz -, Lowes spent much of his day in and around the bottom end of the top ten, but late gains saw him leap to a fine fifth place on the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki.

Indeed, though it was Baz that particularly suffered for his inexperience by missing out on an automatic spot in SP2, Lowes insists he endured a 'difficult day' too.

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"It was a really difficult day being my first time here so there was a lot to learn. We had some problems in the middle session which affected my confidence but we bounced back well in the last practice.

"We've made some changes to the bike and I started to enjoy it so hopefully there is plenty to improve on for day two. We still need to make a few steps but Im looking forward to it."