Ahead of the second round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Aragon, Voltcom Crescent Suzuki began preparations with a three-day test at the Jerez circuit this week with Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes both riding their Suzuki GSX-R1000’s for the first time since the opening races of the season at Phillip Island in Australia on 23rd February.
Laverty spent much of the track-time testing a new rear swingarm, with a focus on improvements to grip and corner exit stability. The 58 Rider also assessed an upgraded engine specification provided by the team’s engine partner, Yoshimura and finished the test in positive spirits after finding a significant improvement in the GSX-R’s turning ability late on day-two.
His Team mate, Alex Lowes despite some physical restrictions from his recovering foot, broken at the Phillip Island event and the poor weather on Wednesday, Lowes posted the second quickest time in the brief dry portion of the day. He was also able to test the new swingarm with promising results – it is likely that both the riders will start the Aragon race weekend with this new part, developed with British chassis and fabrication specialist FTR.
Eugene Laverty: “It was a tough test, and we came across issues we haven’t experienced elsewhere, but I was happy that it finished well and that we learned a lot. We tested the new swingarm, and found some clear positives as well as some possible question marks, so now we need to decide on our starting point for the next round at Aragon. My first ever test on the GSX-R in Jerez wasn’t easy, so maybe the track has something against us, because the bike has been brilliant elsewhere! That said, we ended up only 0.5s off the fastest race tyre time, and with a solid base to go forward from, so I’m looking forward to Aragon!”
Alex Lowes: “It has been a very difficult test but that’s good coming off an injury, and a difficult round one. I have learned so much over the past month, and feel a lot better for it. We improved the bike on the final day even though the conditions were not as good, and I’leaving in positive spirits for Aragon. A week ago I wasn’t even sure I would be able to test, so everything learned this week is a big bonus for me, and I am hoping to be even fitter or close to 100% when I turn up to round two. The whole team has worked so hard over these three days, and I really appreciate their efforts.”