Team Suzuki Press Office – February 20. Voltcom Crescent Suzuki prepares to line up at Philip Island in Australia this weekend in a positive mind-set as the team embarks on the opening round of the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Championship.
Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes head into the weekend buoyant after a successful two-day test at the Australian track earlier this week. Completing the test second and third overall, both racers are eager to come out fighting for the season’s inaugural race on Sunday February 23rd.
Laverty has a flourishing history with Phillip Island – taking two podiums on his last outing here, the second of which saw him victorious – and is aiming to continue his form this weekend on his new Yoshimura-powered machine. Lowes, a rookie to the championship, is looking to start his season strong after gelling well with the Suzuki GSX-R1000 in pre-season testing. Both racers are hoping to capitalise on their positive showings in the official test to kick-off the 2014 championship as serious contenders.
A favourite among many world-class racers, Phillip Island is a demanding, fast and flowing 4,445m circuit. Set on the cliffs overlooking the spectacular Bass Coastline, the 12 high-speed corners and 900m final straight test the riders to their limits throughout, with the changeable weather and strong costal winds increasing the challenge.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki takes to the track for the first of this weekend’s three qualifying practice sessions at 11:45 local time (00.45 GMT) on Friday as it begins the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Championship, in readiness for Sunday’s two races which are scheduled to get underway at 12.00hrs local time (01.00hrs GMT) and 14.40hrs local time (03.40hrs GMT).
“We have had two good days testing here with the team so far and it would be nice to start the season strong. I have a good history with the track having won here last year but having moved manufacturers I wasn’t expecting to be as fast as I was on Monday straight away.
“It’s Sunday that is important so I’m looking to concentrate on some long runs in practice over the next two days and work on my race pace with the Suzuki GSX-R for the opening round. It would be a dream come true to win again here but the competition is so high I’m not taking anything for granted.”
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend. Obviously it is my first race with the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team and I’m a little bit nervous, but only because I want to do well and I think we have a chance of fighting at the front. I’ve never competed in a flyaway race before so it’s all new to me but I love the track and I’m thoroughly enjoying the whole experience. I’m looking to improve further over the practice sessions and see how we get on at the weekend.”