Lowes makes impressive progress in Portimao test
The countdown to the opening WorldSBK round in 2024 is well and truly underway, with Sam Lowes and the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team making excellent progress in the final European test ahead of next month’s season opener in Australia.
- Lowes spent two very productive days on track at the spectacular Algarve International Circuit in Portugal where he was able to set competitive lap times while gaining more vital experience on Ducati’s Panigale V4 R machine.
- Lowes completed 150 laps in total and was once again within striking distance of the best time in just his third outing on a WorldSBK machine.
- The next appointment for the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team is a two-day test at the jaw-dropping Phillip Island track just days before the first race action of 2024 commences in the final weekend of February.
/// SAM LOWES: 1:40.280, 150 laps
- Working to further the improve the base setting found during a recent two-day test in Jerez, Lowes was immediately up to speed around the undulating and challenging Portimao track to set the sixth best time on the opening day.
- The Briton completed 74 laps on day one while primarily working to improve his rhythm on Pirelli’s hard option tyres, with Lowes delighted with set-up modifications that gave him more front feeling and confidence.
- Having set a best time of 1:40.463 on the opening day, Lowes diligently worked through a hectic testing schedule on day two and completed a further 76 laps.
- With fast laps on Pirelli’s super soft rubber not the main priority in Portimao, Lowes did still improve his time to a 1:40.280 in a brief time attack to conclude a successful test.
“I’m happy with the progress made”
“This was a very interesting test for us coming to such a different track compared to Jerez. I’m happy with how things have gone and the progression we made but you always want more. There’s no doubt though that we can be happy and positive with the job we have done and I need to thank the team again because they have worked incredibly hard to make this learning process as smooth as possible. I have gained a lot of knowledge and data over the two days but I still have a lot to learn and to understand more the best way to ride a superbike. We managed to get through a very busy schedule and like in every test we found things which were positive and some things we can discount for now. It has been a busy period with four intense days of riding in Jerez and Portimao. I’m looking forward to a break now and then it will be full focus for the final preparations in Australia before we go racing for the first time in WorldSBK.”