Alex Lowes has declared himself 'ready for tomorrow' in the wake of his Yamaha Factory Racing Team claiming pole position for the 40th running of the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hour on Saturday evening.

The Englishman was the last rider to run in the Superpole shootout, and was on course to break the outright circuit record on his flying lap until he lost time in the circuit's tricky final sector.

Still, Lowes' time was the second fastest of the day, and was narrowly slower than team-mate Katsuyuki Nakasuga's effort of 2m 6.038s, which was enough to take Yamaha's third successive pole position at this event.

As the 26-year old stressed however, attentions are firmly fixed on Sunday's main event, as he, Nakasuga, and third rider Michael van der Mark aim to clinch a historic third straight victory for the Yamaha factory.

"For me the qualifying was quite good," said Lowes in the qualifying press conference. "I enjoyed my lap. It's a fantastic circuit to ride, especially with lots of grip on the tyres. Unfortunately I was really slow in the last sector, which wasn't very good.

"Anyway, Nakasuga-san did a fantastic lap and what's important is that we have to be fast for eight hours tomorrow. I really think that with these two guys next to me we've got a really strong team. Michael could have ridden the bike today and done the same lap time as me, or maybe even faster.

"The atmosphere is good, I'm enjoying riding the bike, I'm enjoying riding the event and tomorrow we'll see what the weather does. I think in any conditions we're prepared quite well. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be tough. The 8 Hours is always tough but I'm ready for tomorrow."

World Superbike team-mate van der Mark was not in action on Saturday, as only the two fastest riders from the ten quickest entries contested the Superpole shootout.

Aside from joking that he had been busy through the day, the Dutchman, who won this event with Honda in 2013 and '14, expressed his confidence in the pace and consistency of each of Yamaha's three riders.

"I had a really good day today," he quipped. "No, I'm really happy. The guys did an amazing job today. They were really fast. It's good to have pole position but I think the best thing is the three of us are really fast and consistent. In every session with the used tyres.

"I'm looking forward to tomorrow. It's going to be a long one - eight hours. If we can do the same thing that we were doing, the pace we did during testing, we can be really fast and really consistent. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I'm happy with the result today but tomorrow is what counts for all three of us."

By Neil Morrison

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