Lowes steps up WorldSBK preparations in Jerez
With their debut season in the WorldSBK Championship fast approaching, the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team and Sam Lowes were back on track for the first time in 2024 to complete a positive two-day test session at the Circuito de Angel Nieto in Jerez.
- Riding in the stunning new Elf Marc VDS WorldSBK livery for the first time, favourable weather conditions enabled Lowes to continue his adaptation to Ducati’s Panigale V4 R machine in impressive fashion.
- With the majority of this year’s star-studded WorldSBK line-up on track in Jerez, Lowes finished the test in a hugely encouraging eighth position, with plenty of data and experience gained ahead of next month’s season opener in Australia.
- The Elf Marc VDS Racing Team now leaves Spain to cross the border into Portugal for another two-day test session at the spectacular Algarve International Circuit next week.
/// SAM LOWES: 8th, 1:38.852, 173 laps
- After the winter break, Lowes was busy on track on day one to complete 82 laps, with his prime focus on finding a base set-up while also gaining crucial experience of Pirelli’s hard compound tyres.
- Lowes ended the first day only 0.3s behind reigning World Champion Alvaro Bautista, with continual improvements made throughout, which was reflected in his fast and constant pace in race trim.
- More valuable set-up work was accomplished in a marathon stint of 91 laps on the second day, which saw Lowes use Pirelli’s super grippy soft rear tyre for his first time attack on the Ducati Panigale VR 4.
- His performance on softer rubber was particularly eye-catching, with Lowes able to lap 1.3s faster compared to his best time on day one and he ended eighth overall with a fastest lap of 1:38.852 to finish third fastest Ducati on track.
“This test was full of positives”
“I’m really happy with how the test finished. I improved a lot compared to the first day and I felt a lot better on the bike. That’s a normal evolution as I get more used to the Ducati and know what I need to be fast. The team has done an amazing job in helping me understand more how to ride a superbike and I’m starting to feel like this is my bike. I did a lot of good laps on my own and today was the first time I tried the super soft Pirelli tyre. My time was fast, but I only used one tyre, so I’m sure I could go even faster again. We must be happy with the job we’ve done, and I know there is a plenty more to come as we do more laps and get more comfortable with the Ducati. We did a lot of laps in Jerez, and I feel pretty tired now, but I can’t thank the team enough for all their hard work. We tried a lot of different set-ups to help us get very important information and now I’m looking forward to going to Portimao next week to understand the bike on a completely different track. This test was full of positives and gives me a big boost heading to Portugal.”