Fresh from this week’s global launch of Yamaha Racing’s 2016 Programme in Barcelona on Monday, Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team immediately gets down to work with two back-to-back tests scheduled at Portimão and Jerez in the coming days.
Recovering well from his high-speed accident at the Circuito de Jerez, in Spain, last November, Alex Lowes is eager to test his rehabilitation by reuniting with his YZF-R1 at Portugal’s rollercoaster Autódromo Internacional do Algarve on Friday 22nd January. Located less than 20kms above the coastal resort of Portimão, the 4,592m undulating layout is one his teammate Sylvain Guintoli knows well, having achieved five WorldSBK podiums there to-date, and the Frenchman is looking forward to testing his new Yamaha machinery against the challenging course.
The Crescent-run team will spend two days at the rider-favoured Portimão (the only time the championship will attend the track in 2016, as it no longer features on the WorldSBK race calendar) before returning to the 4,423m Andalucían circuit outside Jerez de la Frontera, where a further two days of track-time await the riders on 26-27th January.
I’m looking forward to testing as I’m intrigued to see how I can ride with my shoulder. If I can ride to a good level there are plenty of things we have to work through, if not, then I will get my head down with some more physio and concentrate on the start of the season in Australia. I can’t wait to get back on the YZF-R1 after such a great launch this week and if my shoulder feels ok then it’s going to be lots of fun!”
“After the excitement of the past week it will be good to get down to business on track, with four days testing the YZF-R1 at Portimão and Jerez. We have some important work to do in preparation for the first race of the year at Phillip Island next month so I’m really looking forward to getting back on the bike, working hard with the lads and getting the best out of the Yamaha before we head to Australia.”