Team Suzuki Press Office – April 8. Voltcom Crescent Suzuki is eager to get back into competitive action as it finally takes to the track this weekend for the second round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship after a seven-week break.
Spain’s Motorland Aragon is the destination for the opening European round of the Championship; while another new circuit for rookie Alex Lowes, the track holds a chequered history for team-mate Eugene Laverty. A podium, a front row start and two DNF’s sum-up Laverty’s past two-seasons at the Spanish track, and the latter’s demons are certainly something he is hoping to put to rest aboard his new Yoshimura-powered GSX-R.
Laverty and Lowes have both continued to make progress with the British-based Suzuki squad, after Laverty’s first round victory at Phillip Island in Australia in late February. A recent test in Jerez, though frustrating at times, continued to yield the results the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team were aiming for. Lowes has been working tirelessly to rehabilitate the injury suffered at the Australian circuit, and is confident that his fitness has returned to the standard he needs, to learn the track quickly, and be competitive this weekend.
The Motorland Aragon race and leisure complex is located just outside Alcaniz, approximately 250kms from both Barcelona and Valencia. Built in 2009, and based on the historic street-racing legacy of the area, the track has hosted the World Superbike Championship for the past three years. Comprising four main layout options, the FIM designated circuit measures 5,078m, and features seven right-hand, and 10 left-hand corners throughout its undulating Herman Tilke design, with the longest straight reaching 968m. The track’s blind crests, downhill turns, and 50m gradient changes, make it a thrilling, but challenging venue for riders, machines, and tyres; and a perfect showcase for the championship’s first round on European soil.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s first track session is scheduled for 11:45hrs local time (10:45BST) on Friday morning. The first three free-practice sessions will be timed for qualifying, with a final non-timed 30-minutes on track, ahead of Saturday’s Superpole contests starting at 15:00hrs local time (14:00BST). The two Superbike World Championship races will be held earlier than in previous years, under a new-look race programme for 2014, running at 10:30hrs (09:30BST) and 13:10hrs (12:10BST) on Sunday April 13th.
“We enjoyed a fantastic start to the season, but we’ll need to continue our form to stay at the sharp-end of the title fight. Phillip Island has always been kind to the GSX-R, but the real test will come at Aragon. My aim is to stand on the rostrum on Sunday and if we can do that then it will be a job well done. We’ve been improving the bike over the past few months but it’s still a work in progress. Rome was not built in a day!”
“I can’t wait for Aragon; this is where my season starts! I’m really looking forward to learning the track on the Suzuki GSX-R1000. My plan is to start to build-up some solid results here, that we can improve-on as we progress through the season. My fitness is good, and I’ve been working really hard since Australia; I still don’t have 100% movement in my ankle but it is improving all the time and I’m confident I can do a good job this weekend.”