The Lowes WorldSBK blog - looking forward to the first race
The 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship kicks off at Australia's Phillip Island circuit this weekend. Ahead of the first event of the year, Donington-local Alex Lowes shares his thoughts ahead of the new season.
Time to check in before Phillip Island and the first race weekend of 2017! My pre-season testing has gone really well, the whole team have worked their butts off over winter and from my first laps in Jerez I could feel the improvements. There is no real big difference to the 2016 YZF-R1 but lots of little changes that add up to a decent step forward. It is also great for me to be fit and healthy. I have managed two race simulations during early testing and I am as prepared as ever for 2017. It was nice to go back to Portimao too as it’s a track I really like and was missed off the calendar last year - it’s also good for golf so I managed a couple of rounds between the tests!
I’m now already in Australia and spent my first day here at the Moto GP test with my brother. He has a different challenge for this year and for me it’s been really nice to try to help him in his new adventure. I can finally pass on somethings that I’ve learnt to him now he is on a bigger bike, although I’m not too sure he will listen! Either way it was fantastic to see him on a MotoGP bike, he certainly isn’t scared of it, the plumes of smoke off the rear tyre through the final two corners of Phillip Island prove that! He has a lot to adapt to and learn but the smile on his face was mega and nice for me to be around for.
I have a slightly different support team around me this year and one of my good friends, and training partner, Dave ‘Rocky’ Ryan is now helping me out at the races and sorting my kit. It is his first time to Australia so it’s been exciting for him and that is rubbing off on me, it made me realise how lucky I am to do what I love and get to go around the world doing it. We have mostly been running, playing a little bit of golf and chilling before work time!
We have just had two days of testing here at Phillip Island before the first race weekend kicks off. The weather wasn’t great for the first day, with really heavy rain hitting the track and stopping us from putting in too much hard work, but the second day made up for it. I got another two solid race simulations done and I’m pleased with the work me and the team have put in overall. The first race weekend starts properly tomorrow. My aims now are for two solid and competitive results to start off 2017, and I honestly I can’t wait! Thanks for reading and we’ll catch up again after round one!
To purchase tickets for the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park on 26-28 May, click here.