Alex Lowes has been buoyed by a productive pre-season test at Portimao as he impressed on the lap times for Pata Yamaha.

The British rider was consistently quick over the two-day test at the Portuguese track and closest challenger to Jonathan Rea with a 1m 41.814s set on the new Pirelli sprint race tyre – rather than qualifying rubber Rea used.

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Having completed a full test programme Lowes feels he’s uncovered breakthroughs both with the YZF-R1 package and tweaks to his riding style.

“It's been a really positive test for me here in Portimao, a track at which I've struggled a little previously on the Yamaha,” Lowes said. “During this test we've found some strong, consistent pace and my fastest lap came on the sprint race tyre as I ran into traffic on the qualifier, so I know there's more to come.

“But it's not the one-off fast lap time that's important. What's made me happy is the fact that I posted a lot of fast and consistent laps on every run, we managed to complete the whole test programme and we're now in a good position ahead of the test and race in Phillip Island.

“We've had a really strong winter, put the hard work in, made no mistakes and, hopefully, we can reap the reward with a strong start to the season in Phillip Island next month.”

Lowes, who also demonstrated strong pace at last week’s Jerez test, will get a final running opportunity at the two-day Phillip Island test (February 18-19) as a precursor to the 2019 season opener at the Australia track between February 22-24.



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