Lowes completes Phillip Island test dominance

Sam Lowes goes quicker again to complete his dominant performance for Yakhnich Yamaha during World Supersport testing at Phillip Island.
CLICK HERE to view the combined times from Monday and Tuesday

Sam Lowes has marked himself as the rider to beat ahead of this weekend's opening round of the World Supersport Championship at Phillip Island after dominating pre-season testing at the same circuit.

The British rider, who will compete aboard the Yakhnich Yamaha in 2013 after two seasons with PTR Honda, topped three of the four sessions held at the Australian venue over two days, with only technical issues on day one scuppering a clean sweep.

Even so, having commanded a comfortable margin over the opposition in the morning, Lowes was pushed hard by reigning champion Kenan Sofuoglu in the afternoon, the Turk briefly nosing with 25mins to go courtesy of a 1min 33.384secs lap.

However, Lowes would go on to strike back with a session-topping time of 1min 33.076secs, already a full eight tenths faster than Joan Lascorz's lap record from 2010. It's a marker he will have the chance to officially beat when the curtain raiser gets underway later this week.

Behind Sofuoglu, his Mahi Kawasaki team-mate Fabien Foret made good grounds to go third, six tenths behind Lowes, while a late improvement was enough to see top rookie Michael van der Mark assume Honda honours in fourth place aboard his Pata-backed CBR600RR.

Getting reacquainted with the Kawasaki ZX-6R that took him to the runners-up spot in 2011, Intermoto's David Salom was up to fifth place by the end of the test, ahead of Gabor Talmacsi and Vladimir Leonov, the pair showing consistently impressive form over the course of the two days.

Similarly, Fabio Menghi lifted himself into the top ten once again aboard the VFT Yamaha, out-performing R6-counterpart Massimo Roccoli and Luca Scassa on the second of the Intermoto Kawasakis.

Outside the top ten, wild-card riders Josh Hook and Kevin Curtain were 11th and 15th quickest on the overall timesheets, while Kev Coghlan completed a solid debut for DMC Lorenzini Kawasaki to go 17th fastest.

Elsewhere, having been top five at the start of the test, ParkinGO MV Agusta's pace tailed off sharply as the two days wore on, Christian Iddon slipping to 19th, while Roberto Rolfo dropped from a high of fifth to an eventual 24th. Suffering a similar fate, Jack Kennedy's failure to go quicker in the final session saw him drop from tenth in the morning to 23rd overall.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Lowes, Supersport, Australian WSBK 2012
Lowes, Supersport, Australian WSBK 2012
Lowes, Supersport, Australian WSBK 2012
Lowes, Supersport, Australian WSBK 2012
Lukas Trautmann, Superstock 1000, Yamaha [Credit: WSBK - Toni Borner]
Kyle Smith on the Pata Honda at Phillip Island
Kyle Smith on the Pata Honda at Phillip Island
Kieran Clarke will return to the World Supersport Championship in 2015 with PTR in the CIA Insurance Honda team
Kyle Smith - PATA Honda
Pata Honda`s Michael van der Mark celebrates podium finish at Phillip Island
Pata Honda`s Michael van der Mark during testing at Phillip Island
New PTR Honda signing Matt Davies
Austria`s David Linortner has joined PTR Honda for 2013 World Supersport Championship
Fabien Foret, Ten Kate Honda
[L-R]: Chaz Davies, Luca Scassa and Gino Rea, Donington Park WSS podium, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
Sam Lowes, Parkalgar Honda, Donington Park WSS, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
James Ellison, Bogdanka PTR Honda, Donington Park WSS, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
David Salom, Kawasaki, Donington Park WSS, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]

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