Alex Lowes: “We can maybe have a more aggressive setting on the bike”

Alex Lowes says the mandatory pit stop for this weekend’s feature-length races in WorldSBK can give them more flexibility.

Alex Lowes, Australian WorldSBK, 23 February
Alex Lowes, Australian WorldSBK, 23 February

Both 20-lap races will require the entire WorldSBK field to make a pit stop halfway through due to tyre concerns as a result of the new track surface.and tyres not being shipped out until November.

That means there hasn’t been enough time to develop a tyre suitable to the new surface, thus making pit stops will act as a safety blanket. 

Lowes, who had to ride around severe tyre degradation at times in 2023, is hoping the new format can help Kawasaki address one of their weaknesses of last year.

One lap pace has always been strong for Lowes and Kawasaki, but keeping the tyre in check at Phillip Island will still be a challenge for 10/11 laps.

Lowes, who finished Friday practice fastest with a new lap record, said: “Today was good, we had some difficult conditions today, not many laps.

“Obviously, the format for the weekend has changed since the test. So, we're in a little bit of a different mentality. We're trying to look for an out and out performance.

“We must look after the tyres for 10/11 laps rather than 22 laps. This means we can play a bit more with the power of the bike, maybe have a bit more aggressive setting on the way the bike turns to use a little bit more the tyres.

“In the afternoon, honestly, we use the tyres from this morning to start with, didn't feel too bad and then we used the SC2 front tyre which I quite like took the test when it was hotter and also by using it today it means we can focus on the SC1 tyre which gives me some more turning and helps me around the bike a little bit for the especially for 10 laps.

“I didn't expect to be as fast as I was. Maybe with the SCT tyre for one lap, you can use the grip and then it was dropping a bit, and I was struggling to turn the back, so I'm sure there's plenty of areas we can improve, but in general I'm positive, feeling good.

“Quite a lot of pretty good laps. My pace is staying OK. We know that this year it was like there's so many fast guys in such a tight space.

“But if I can do a good qualifying, then I think I can be in the mix tomorrow and start the year 2024."

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