Alex Lowes: ‘We need to see how the tyres perform, this year even more important’

Alex Lowes believes this year’s Official Phillip Island WorldSBK test will be more important due to the new track surface.

Alex Lowes, Jerez WorldSBK test, 25 January
Alex Lowes, Jerez WorldSBK test, 25 January

The new track surface has already yielded a new lap record in WorldSSP as WorldSBK riders get set for the final day of pre-season testing.

Phillip Island, like Catalunya, is one of the more punishing circuits when it comes to tyre wear. 

Tyre wear was an issue for Kawasaki at time in 2023, therefore a successful test on the new surface will be crucial for the likes of Alex Lowes and Axel Bassani.

“I am looking forward to this final pre-season test,” began Lowes. “They have resurfaced the track at Phillip Island. As always when it is completely new the tarmac is very dark, which normally means that the track temperature is a bit higher.

“In general, the stones in the track are rougher when the track is new and tyre life - based on the experience we have - is normally worse.

“So this is something we need to consider in what is now a one-day test. We just need to see how the tyres will perform over race distance.

“That is always the most important thing at Phillip Island - having good speed on used tyres. This year it will be even more important.”

Lowes has been the top Kawasaki rider so far in testing, as Bassani has found the transition from Ducati tough.

But the Italian is hopeful of a good test before beginning racing which has been his strength as opposed to testing, practice and qualifying, throughout his time in WorldSBK.

Bassani said: “We will finally start the real season soon and we have arrived in Australia to ride on new tarmac at Phillip Island. We will see how it works.

“I only want to see how the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR works here, because my last time was on a different bike, so now I have to see how much it is different.

“For the moment I am relaxed and only want to see what happens in this test, rather than expect to find one thing or another.

“The one day of testing now will be tougher. Before it was two days - two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon.

“Now it is eight hours all day, four hours in the morning and four in the afternoon. So you have to do all the work in one day. It is not easy to do but it is the same for everyone.”

Read More