Alex Lowes says there is still plenty of 'hard work' ahead if he is to replicate his impressive practice pace at Phillip Island for the more crucial qualifying and races, but is happy to get his weekend off to an excellent start nonetheless.

Despite damp conditions limiting mileage in the morning FP1 session and buffeting winds making their presence felt in the afternoon FP2 session, it was the less experienced British rider that prevailed on the timesheets.

Edging out Marco Melandri and David Giugliano on a timesheet that saw just seven tenths cover the top ten, Lowes was pleased to be fast on the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki, but contends that qualifying and the races will be a new and different challenge for him.

"Today was good! The wind was really bad and affecting the bike a lot, but we still made some progress in certain areas. I'm looking forward to going out tomorrow and confirming that it is definitely better when the weather's more favourable. I really like Phillip Island; when a track is as windy as it's been today it is hard to enjoy it, but I think it's a great track, and I'm looking forward to the racing here.

"I still need to work hard to see if we can be in a good position for tomorrow and the race on Sunday, we have a lot of refinements still to do with the electronics and the suspension so we'll put our heads together tonight and see what we can improve for tomorrow."

Team-mate Eugene Laverty, meanwhile, was sixth fastest on the sister GSX-R1000 after a day spent working on rear tyre solutions.

"The weather turned on us a little bit today so we lost one practice session, but it was the same for everybody. The second practice we tried a different tyre and got some work done because we have got a lot of rear tyres to try and evaluate. We will have a study of the data collected and make a plan for tomorrow but everything is so far is going to plan."



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