for testing times from Phillip Island [Tuesday]
Alex Lowes heads into the opening round of the 2015 World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island with the tentative upper hand after completing a clean sweep of the sessions during official pre-season testing.
With just three days to go before the 2015 season gets underway, Lowes bettered his own personal best from Monday with a time of 1min 30.859secs on the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki, enough to keep a late improvement from Kawasaki's Jonathan Rea at bay by just over two hundredths of a second.
Having impressed by cracking the top five on the first day of testing, World Superbike rookie and former Moto2 race winner Jordi Torres rose into the top three aboard the Red Devils Roma Aprilia, ahead of Tom Sykes – who suffered a fall – and Leon Haslam on the second of the RSV4s.
With Davide Giugliano out of action – and a doubt for the opening round – Chaz Davies persevered for Aruba.it Ducati in sixth place, ahead of David Salom, the Spaniard proving one of the test's big improvers on the KRT-supported Pedercini Kawasaki.
Another rookie showing well on the second day, Nico Terol was eighth best on the Althea Ducati, ahead of leading PATA Honda rider Michael van der Mark and Niccolo Canepa, who ensured EBR secured a welcome spot inside the top ten.
Already suffering with a pained back, a fall in the final minutes for Sylvain Guintoli is unlikely to aid his cause ahead of the season opener, though Randy de Puniet did make a late return to action following his high-speed crash on Monday, suggesting he could still race this weekend.
Elsewhere, Sylvain Barrier walked away from a crash on his BMW Italia, but Tati Mercado is being reviewed following an accident too.