Team Voltcom Crescent Suzuki

PUIG continues one year more as a Technical Team Sponsor Fixi Crescent Suzuki WSB, led this year by Randy de Puniet and Alex Lowes who will drive two Suzuki GSXR-1000 L-4.


Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes

Experience to fight with the best ones

Eugene Laverty is from Toomebridge in Northern Ireland and was runner-up in the 2013 Superbike World Championship. He has a wealth of racing – and winning – experience gained throughout many different championships in his career, including the British 125cc and Supersport classes, the MotoGP™ 250cc division and twice runner-up in the World Supersport title chase. With his brothers John and Michael, he is part of a family trio that all compete in high-level motorcycle racing.
Career History: 2001: Began road racing – first victory at Mondello Park, Ireland2002: Debut British 125cc podium2003: Seventh overall in British 125cc Championship2004: Second in British Supersport Championship – four victories2006: Third in British Supersport Championship – four victories2007/8: MotoGP™ 250cc Grand Prix World Championship contender2009: Second in World Supersport Championship – four victories2010: Second in World Supersport Championship – eight victories2011: Fourth in debut season in World Superbike Championship – two victories2011: Sixth in World Superbike Championship2013: Second in World Superbike Championship – nine victories2014: Moved to Crescent Suzuki
Alex Lowes
Career history: 2002: JRA Championship; 2003: Aprilia Superteen Series; 2004: Various club races; 2005: British 125GP Championship; 2006: British 125GP Championship; 2007: British Supersport Championship; 2008: European Superstock Championship; 2009: European Superstock Championship; 2010: British Supersport championship (12th) Selected BSB rounds; 2011: British Superbike Championship (20th); 2012: British Superbike Championship (4th); 2013: British Superbike Champion.


Double sixth for Laverty in Jerez

Laverty leaves the Championships’ final Spanish race in seventh position overall after a solid performance saw him mirror his grid position across the line in both of the day’s two races. Despite a poor start to the morning’s action relegating him to 10th, the Irishman dug deep on-board his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R, his persistence paying off as, after a brief battle with Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes for fifth in the final quarter, the Irishman eventually claimed sixth place at the flag. The afternoon race saw the Suzuki rider away from the lights quickly, maintaining his position amongst the front group. Laverty moved to fifth on lap seven before a late challenge from Rea relegated him back, matching his finish from the previous race and awarding him 20 points for the day’s endeavours. Reunited in action with his Suzuki GSX-R1000, Lowes’ got off to a blistering start in the opening contest; holding second as he crossed the line for the initial revolution, the British racer retained the final podium position for the opening four laps. Circulating in 10th for the middle stint of the race he eventually succumbed to the track’s greasy conditions at turn one on lap 14. The second outing saw Lowes sustain a steady pace, looking to challenge the two riders in front by lap 10 he eventually settled into a rhythm to bring his Suzuki home in ninth for seven championship points. A cloudy and humid Jerez circuit greeted the fans and competitors for the 10th round of the Championship this morning. Aprilia’s Marco Melandri took victory ahead of his teammate in both of the day’s races, with Kawasaki’s David Salom and BMW’s Sylvain Barrier sharing the spoils in the EVO class. Voltcom Crescent Suzuki now heads back to its UK Headquarters to prepare for the next round of competition at Magny-Cours in France in a month’s time. Eugene Laverty: “Unfortunately today wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. Race one was really disappointing, we had a problem with the start off the line and dropped backwards, we made good progress but sixth wasn’t what we expected. In the second race we made a better start, and I think from start to finish it was the best race I could have possibly had but it was only good enough for sixth. We are going to put our heads together and try to figure out how to get back up on to the podium now because I want to be challenging the top three and improve our championship position.” Alex Lowes: “It was a frustrating day and not the results we wanted but, as ever, I never give in and pushed hard on the GSX-R. I’m frustrated with the crash as I don’t really know what happened but the team worked really hard to make the changes needed for race two. If it wasn’t for the bad start I think we would’ve had a chance of running with Eugene in the second race, but I lost time getting caught up with Elias. I’m looking forward to the next round and will be working hard with the team to get back up there for Magny-Cours.” Paul Denning – Team Manager: “The results today were below our target but at the same time both riders and the team gave it everything and different conditions just didn’t quite work for us. Eugene rode two very strong races – the first one massively compromised by a dreadful start – and was able to achieve two very solid finishes. The margins are so fine between the podium and sixth place that it’s a case of us continuing to work hard to make the GSX-R as adaptable as it can be to all circuits and all conditions so that we can achieve those targets. “The greasy conditions caught Alex out in the first race, but he showed a lot of fight today and in the second race he learnt a lot and maintained a very consistent pace right to the end. Not the best day, but not the worst and as a step towards the future a lot of learning and good effort by the full Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team.”

Fourth for Laverty after a dramatic day at Laguna Seca

After a strong battle to fourth in the opening stint of the day’s second race, two red flags saw Laverty resigned to a seven lap sprint race aboard his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R. A difficult start dropped the Irishman to seventh at the first turn but Laverty dug deep to regain his earlier position, moving through the front pack in the opening three laps before retaking fourth on the penultimate lap to claim 13 points. Starting strongly in the first race – running sixth and battling for fourth – Laverty suffered a technical issue resulting in a trip through the gravel at turn two on lap eight and an eventual early retirement five corners later. After a tough start to the day, Alex Lowes rode to a brilliant eighth position in race one – having suffered a big accident in warm-up. His Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team worked tirelessly to build a new GSX-R in the hour-break before the commencement of the opening contest, and the British racer repaid the effort by jumping three places from his starting position to bring home eight points. Race two saw Lowes holding 10th for the opening 10 laps and looking to progress to the top six, before a crash at The Corkscrew brought out a red flag and the end to his weekend. A bright and blustery day saw the California track bathed in 21°C sunshine for the opening action, as Aprilia’s Marco Melandri saw off his teammate for the victory. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes eventually took the win in the second outing with his teammate David Salom taking the EVO prize for both races. Voltcom Crescent Suzuki now looks to enjoy the long summer break while returning to its UK headquarters in preparation for the first of the four remaining rounds, as the World Championship returns to Jerez, in Spain, on Sunday 7th September. Eugene Laverty: “We have put in a lot of good work all weekend but race one was over before it started, we had a technical problem and managed a few laps hanging in there but the bike was on its way out, so on lap eight it was done. In race two I managed to hang in with the front guys even when our bike isn’t as strong with a full fuel tank and new tyres. Then the GSX-R started to feel really good and I knew I could come towards them but the red flag came out. The restarted seven lap sprints don’t really suit us as we are always better at the end of the races. We as a team had the potential for podiums today, the guys worked so hard this weekend so we all deserved it before the summer break – fourth was not really the reward we were looking for.” Alex Lowes: “It’s been a difficult, painful day and I’m disappointed with its conclusion. I got a good feeling and understanding with the GSX-R today and my team have done a great job this weekend so it’s a shame we couldn’t come away with more. I’m looking forward to the summer break it will give me the time to recover and continue my training so we can come back strong and ready to fight in Jerez.” Laguna Seca – eni FIM World Superbike Championship – Race One: 1. Marco Melandri (Aprilia) 35’07.782: 2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) +0.905: 3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) +6.627: 4. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) +13.574: 5. Toni Elias (Aprilia) +13.855: 8. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +20.184: DNF EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) Laguna Seca – eni FIM World Superbike Championship – Race Two: 1. Sykes 9’51.346: 2. Guintoli +1.014: 3. Jonathan Rea (Honda) +2.793: 4. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +3.681: 5. Elias +4.165: DNF ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI)

Lowes stars for Voltcom Crescent Suzuki at rain soaked Portimao

Starting from 11th on the grid the British racer initially got off to a tricky start for the shortened 18 lap contest, spinning off the line in the wet conditions and arriving 13th into the opening corners. Head down, Lowes put his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R to work, closing on the nearest riders to claim ninth by the second lap. As the rain abated and the lap times quickened he continued his charge. Lap 12 saw both Aprilia’s collide, promoting Lowes to sixth and in the mix of a four bike pack challenging for third. Bettering three riders on lap 15 he took a chance at the podium before a slight mistake saw him briefly back in fifth. Repeating the move on Honda’s Leon Haslam on the penultimate lap, Lowes brought his Suzuki across the line for a well-deserved fourth place. A similar determination delivered Lowes 10 points and a sixth place finish in the day’s opening dry race. A great start saw him jump four places in the initial sector, holding seventh before dropping to 10th for the first half of the 20 lap race. Advancing to eighth after a two rider tussle on lap 11 as the white flags were waved, Lowes capitalised on an opportunity largely created by backmarkers to take sixth on his approach to the chequered flag. Eugene Laverty leaves Portugal eighth in the championship after finishing eighth and ninth in this afternoon’s two races. A disappointing conclusion to his impressive weekend showing, the Irishman looked to be bringing home a top six finish on his Suzuki GSX-R in the midday contest, before the tangle with the backmarkers on the final stretch of the last lap cost him two positions. As the rain enveloped the Portimao circuit for the final race of the day, Laverty struggled to retain his earlier position. Dropping to 13th after a difficult start, he improved to set his fastest lap of the race on the penultimate revolution, consolidating ninth position at the line. A grey and overcast race day greeted fans at the Algarve circuit as the brooding clouds brought the rain in time for the second race, despite the pleasant 21°C temperatures. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes and David Salom took the spoils for the two classes in the opening contest, while Honda’s Jonathan Rea was dominant in the second outing, BMW’s Sylvain Barrier claiming the late afternoon’s EVO victory. Crossing the Atlantic in the next few days, Voltcom Crescent Suzuki prepares for its return to the United States and the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, as the Championship’s ninth round visits California on the 13th July. Alex Lowes: “After crashing yesterday in qualifying and being on the fourth row I’m quite happy with two solid top six results. In the second race if I hadn’t made a little error I could have been on for a podium but I’m happy to come from where I started and to get fourth. We learnt some more about the GSX-R today – we now know where we still need to improve and also have some proof on where it is working well – which can help us to keep moving forward. I really want to say thanks to the whole team, they were in the garage until 1:30am last night fixing the bike after my crash yesterday; it would have been really nice to reward them with a podium so I’m sorry about that, but I’m now looking forward to next week. I can’t wait for Laguna, it’s another new track, but it’s tight and twisty so it should suit us well.” Eugene Laverty: “We were top four in every session apart from the three that mattered, Superpole and the two races! I’m very disappointed with race one, it was drizzling with rain and I was too scared to take risks and ended up in a low position. I lost two places on the last lap due to backmarkers but whether it was sixth or eighth, for me it wasn’t a good race. In the second race I didn’t have any feeling at all in the beginning, it came better in the end but it was too little, too late, so it was a poor day. We really had pace for the podium here so to walk away with an eighth and a ninth is not what we hoped for.” Paul Denning – Team Manager: “Mixed emotions and mixed results sum up the team’s day at Portimao. We had a strong feeling that both riders could be competitive in the dry but in the first race we couldn’t make the lap time needed with the new tyre compared to the excellent times we made in warm-up this morning, which was strange because the fuel load, track temperature and weather conditions were identical – as it has been all year understanding how to make the bike to work well in the early laps is pivotal to the end result. “Both Eugene and Alex had very strong pace towards the end of race one but by then it was too late and the fight for the podium is gone. The second wet race was a surprise after the beautiful weather we’ve had all weekend but a stunning performance from Alex from 13th on the first lap through to fourth and to get that close to the front runners and to the podium was a brilliant ride. Eugene’s wet race was very strange, much further off the pace than he would want to be in the first half of the race due to a lack of feel and confidence on corner entry but stunning pace and the fourth fastest lap overall as the race went on. Wet or dry we need to improve qualifying and improve our pace in the early laps; the answers aren’t clear how to do this but the team will keep working hard to fulfil our potential.” Portimao – eni FIM World Superbike Championship – Race One: 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 34’45.568: 2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) +2.539: 3. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) +3.175: 4. Marco Melandri (Aprilia)+4.042: 5. Jonathan Rea (Honda) +7.791: 6. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +14.772: 8. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +14.941: Portimao – eni FIM World Superbike Championship – Race Two: 1. Rea 34’55.154: 2. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) +6.817: 3. Chaz Davies (Ducati) +8.676: 4. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +9.740: 5. Leon Haslam (Honda) +11.289: 9. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +26.406: - See more at:

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki fight hard in Misano heat

Having slipped back in the first race due to a complication with his previous foot injury, Laverty displayed a strong and determined performance for the day’s second outing. Fighting with a number of riders and initially dropping to tenth place at the beginning of the afternoon’s contest, the Irishman dug deep to regain positions, crossing the line in seventh place to score a further nine championship points. Riding a somewhat solitary race on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R for the majority of the first outing, Laverty set his fastest time of the morning’s race on his 17th revolution of the Italian circuit. Having damaged his already injured right foot in the opening laps, the Irishman had slipped back and considered retiring from the race. Regrouping and adjusting his riding position towards the latter stages Laverty reignited his race to regain his grid position and although he was swiftly closing the gap to Ducati’s Davide Giugliano, he ultimately ran out of laps as the chequered flag was raised, to finish ninth. Alex Lowes showed impressive pace in both of the day’s races, finishing eighth this afternoon after a crash in the morning’s action. Recording a 1’36.621 on his ninth lap of the opening race Lowes had been quickly closing the gap to Honda’s Jonathan Rea for eighth position before a fall at turn 5 on lap 13 saw him leave the fight early. A difficult start to the second race had left the Englishman circulating in 11th but his consistent pace on the Suzuki GSX-R allowed him to challenge the fight for fifth position, claiming seventh by lap 14 and narrowly losing out to his teammate at the flag to take the eight points. Despite an overcast start to the day, race one maintained the weekend’s high temperatures of 29°C with the track already topping 38°C and as the skies cleared the afternoon saw track temperatures peak at 44°C. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes took a double win at the Misano Adriatico circuit, with teammate David Salom reflecting the achievement in the EVO class. Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will continue its championship fight in two weeks’ time at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Portimao in Portugal, on 6th July after a break from racing sees the team attending the Goodwood Festival of Speed from 27th-29th June. Eugene Laverty: “That was definitely not the easiest of days! In race one, a few laps in at turn five while I was pushing on the footrest I felt something snap inside my foot. There was a lot of pain and I struggled to ride for the next five laps but I didn’t want to pull in so I just adjusted my foot and for the last five or six laps I was able to ride again and start pushing. For the second race I sought medical attention which allowed me to ride in a different way – I had to keep my foot in a strange position on the footrest but at least that allowed me to fight and race, because I thought I wouldn’t be able to race again. It’s unfortunate because I thought the foot was coming ok; it’s ok to walk, but to ride the bike the break is exactly at the point I need to push on the footrest and I think I’ve done more damage now than originally. I’ll do my best to be as strong as I can be in Portimao, and hope we can get the GSX-R close to the front.” Alex Lowes: “I’m really disappointed with the first race, I made a mistake but I was riding quite well. In the second race I did my best and got an eighth place, which I can’t really be happy with but I worked hard. It’s all experience for me, I still need to adjust my riding style for the hot temperatures but it’s my first time here on the Superbike and I felt I held my own. We still have improvements that we need to make both for me and my understanding of the GSX-R and how to get the best from it but I’m looking forward to Portugal. We had a good test there before the season started so hopefully we can continue to improve and come back fighting at Portimao.” Paul Denning – Team Manager: “A tough weekend all in all! This championship is so competitive; if you miss just a small percentage of your best performance it makes a good result impossible. Both riders made a huge effort and Eugene did very well to race in the second outing – he was clearly in a lot of discomfort. We have a good consistency on worn tyres but both riders struggle to use the grip of a new tyre at the start of the race, so this is our biggest focus in terms of improvement.” -

Laverty back on the podium in Sepang

Starting from 7th on the grid Laverty avoided the second corner collision, which brought down three riders including his teammate Alex Lowes, and got up to speed quickly to pursue the front running pack of four riders. Challenging their pace, the Irishman held fifth place for the initial eight laps before advancing on Aprilia’s Toni Elias and then Ducati’s Chaz Davies three laps later. Maintaining consistent speed on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R, Laverty held third to the line to take a well-deserved podium and 16 championship points. Race two got underway at 16:30hrs local time and after a red flag four laps in, the 10 lap sprint restart did little to dampen the momentum. Resuming from his previous race position of ninth Laverty rode a determined race, catching Honda’s Leon Haslam and the Ducati pairing of Davide Giugliano and Davies before running out of laps to catch the next group and taking his GSX-R1000 across the line for seventh. Despite the collision in the first lap ending his race one campaign early, Alex Lowes regrouped for the second outing, taking his ninth place spot on the grid for the late afternoon contest. After the brief interruption of the red flag, he restarted the race from 11th. Holding 10th for the majority of the shortened 10 lap race, the British racer pushed his Suzuki GSX-R past Giugliano to take ninth on the final lap. Air temperatures of 32°C left the track a blisteringly hot 52°C for the opening race, rising to 36°C and 59°C respectively for the later outing. Aprilia’s Marco Melandri got the better of his teammate for the race one win, with a similar manoeuvre on the last lap of the day granting him the double. Voltcom Crescent Suzuki now travels back to its UK headquarters to continue the motivation in preparation for the Riviera de Rimini round at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” in Italy on 22nd June. Eugene Laverty: “It was fantastic to get back on the podium in race one – a nice reward for all the guys because they deserved it in Donington but I threw it away in race one, so we are back where we belong I think. Race two, with the shorter distance, didn’t suit my Suzuki because we were better on old tyres but it’s been a positive weekend in all and it’s nice to finally be back in the top three for the first time since Phillip Island.” Alex Lowes: “There’s not much I can say about race one, but I definitely learnt something in race two. I really didn’t feel good at all, it was a big impact in the race one crash, but I dug deep and it was a good experience overall on a new circuit. It is a great track here at Sepang and I wish I could have done better, but now I’m really looking forward to Misano and seeing how close we can get to the front.” Paul Denning: “Following Alex’s superb podium at Donington, to follow that up with a podium for Eugene in very difficult conditions here at Sepang is a positive sign that we have got the GSX-R in the ball park and hopefully we can create further positive momentum from here on. Eugene’s not in the best of conditions with a broken bone in his right foot and is generally a bit battered after a testing accident last week, but he did very well to not let that affect him and to push forward so strongly and get to the podium in race one. Seventh was disappointing in race two, in that the potential was much better – I believe it was very possible to finish fourth if the race hadn’t been cut to such a short distance of only 10 laps. “For Alex it has been a tough first visit to Sepang but we could have seen a very strong performance today. Only making one corner in race one before being violently taken out in the accident triggered by Loris Baz’s very rash move caused Alex a fair few injuries and a very severe bang on the head. All things considered he did very well to ride the bike in race two and even better to find a good pace, especially over the final five laps and fight his way up into the top 10. We are looking forward to the next three races at circuits we feel could be very positive for the bike and hope to arrive in Misano with two fit riders and some luck on our side.”

Lowes delights at Donington

Lowes consolidated a quick start on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R by aiming straight for the front, taking the lead before the first lap was completed and holding it for two revolutions before a battle between Kawasaki’s Loris Baz and Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli relegated him to third. Mid-race saw the locally-based rider battling for second on a number of occasions before settling in to a rhythm, and a comfortable third place. Race two saw Lowes consolidate his grid place in the early stages, running fourth for the opening laps before a coming together with Aprilia’s Marco Melandri on lap five. Picking his bike up the British racer re-joined at the back of the field, and maintaining his original pace, he began the task of cutting this way through. With a stunning ride in-front of the cheering home crowd – even taking two riders at once on lap 14 – Lowes finished the race in an impressive ninth place to score seven valuable championship points, setting the fastest lap of the race and recording the highest speed trap of all riders for good measure. Eugene Laverty had a similar battle in the day’s second outing. Falling on the same lap, just moments after his teammate, the Irishman battled his Suzuki GSX-R from 22nd to secure 13th, and three points, at the line. After a promising start, Laverty leaves Donington with little to show for the weekend’s hard work – a crash also cutting short his first race at lap five – but will re-group for the next Championship outing in Sepang in a fortnight’s time. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes stole the show with a double victory as a rain-hit Donington Park gave way to a pleasant and sun-filled afternoon of racing for the 30 thousand spectators. Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will now look to prepare for the forthcoming flyaway race at Sepang, in Malaysia on the 8th June. Alex Lowes: “Race one was good, I struggled a bit at the end, but the start and leading my first World Superbike race was great! It’s nice for the team at the home race as well, so I’m really pleased with that. I am disappointed with the second race. The bike improved a lot, we had made some good changes – so thanks to Lez for that – I had good pace and I could’ve had another podium. I tried my best and got a ninth place, pushing really hard right to the end even though my bike was badly damaged. We’ll move on with the confidence gained this weekend as we have proved we can run at the front. My starts were better and I mixed it in with the top boys so I’m looking forward to the rest of the year, I’ve got some solid results now and I can’t wait for Sepang!” Eugene Laverty: “The tough run continues. Race one we were looking strong but I made a mistake, through the chicane I dug my knee into the grass and it ripped me from the bike and I had a huge crash. In the second race your guess is as good as mine! I was just cruising because I needed to stay on-board to get a decent finish, and suddenly I lost the front. It’s disappointing because the potential is so good.” Paul Denning- Team Manager: “It’s been an impressive weekend‘s work for Alex, his crew and for the Voltcom Crescent GSX-R. The first race was exactly the right balance between pushing hard when he needed to and settling for a fantastic podium at the end of the race. Race two was a huge disappointment but a better performance in many ways. The accident was pretty much unavoidable, and with a heavily damaged bike – which in most circumstances a rider would call unridable – clawed his way back from dead last to ninth place and even on the last lap of the race was the fastest rider on track. Race two was a definite podium at worst and a hard fight for the win at best, it didn’t happen but that shouldn’t detract from what was a stunning day’s work. “The story for Eugene was very different unfortunately. We’ve had a difficult run over the last few weeks and the potential we’ve seen in practice hasn’t translated into results. The starts weren’t a problem today, we got away and soon battled through to the front group but mistakes in both races meant that Eugene wasn’t able to capitalise. We will go to Malaysia with the target of rebuilding Eugene’s confidence, finding the sweet spot in the bike for him and capitalising on the obvious potential.” Donington – eni FIM World Superbike Championship – Race One: 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 34’23.929; 2. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) +1.538; 3. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +6.394; 4.Marco Melandri (Aprilia) +11.875; 5.Chaz Davies (Ducati) +14.514; DNF EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) Donington – eni FIM World Superbike Championship – Race Two: 1. Sykes 34’14.134; 2. Baz +3.678; 3. Guintoli +7.376; 4. Davide Giugliano +10.827; 5. Davies +15.140; 9. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +41.465; 13. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +1’00.751; World Championship Classification: 1. Sykes 185; 2. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 159; 3. Baz 159; 4. Guintoli 148; 5. Davies 109; 9. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) 73; 10. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) 65; - See more at:

Laverty salvages seventh on tricky day in Italy

Struggling to adapt his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R to suit his style at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Laverty salvaged a seventh place finish in the day’s opening race after running a somewhat solitary yet consistent pace for the 19 lap duration. The Irishman looked to be set for a similar placing in the afternoon’s outing, before succumbing to the advancing duo of Red Devils’ Toni Elias and Honda’s Leon Haslam to eventually consolidate ninth. Despite the setback of missing yesterday’s Superpole, Alex Lowes’ encouraging form continued in both of the day’s races. A strong start on his Suzuki GSX-R allowed the British racer to advance two places in the morning’s opening lap progressing further, due to a move on Haslam and a fall from Ducati’s Davide Giugliano, to claim eighth at the flag. The second race looked even more promising, matching his first race position before the half way stage, when a mistake while attempting a move on his teammate resulted in a trip to the gravel at turn 18, and a loss of five places. Lowes regrouped at speed and began hunting down the pack in front to take 10th with four laps remaining, his consistent pace and confidence on the bike deserving more than the time sheets reflected. Honda’s Jonathan Rea dominated proceedings at the Imola circuit taking a double win, while the intermittent cloud left track temperatures pushing 10°C above the day’s 23°C high, the threat of rain dissipating as the second race began. Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will now remain in Imola to participate in official championship testing tomorrow, with a full day of activity from 09:00hrs local time, before returning to its UK base in preparation for the team’s home race at Donington Park in a fortnight’s time. Eugene Laverty: “A tough day and disappointing for both me and the team. The first race was bad, I could ride the bike but the second race was so bad after half distance that the bike felt unrideable, and we have to work to understand why we were so far away. We have a new strategy to work on tomorrow, to help our engine braking, which should be a good step and this is probably the best track to try it. The problem was highlighted so badly here that if we are going to improve it anywhere it’s going to be here. On to Donington and I’m determined to get back to the front group.” Alex Lowes: The results weren’t great but today was a good race! I tried hard in the second race; I pushed right to the end. I ran off the track trying to pass Eugene, just locked the front and had to take to the gravel, which wasn’t great. I lost 13 seconds, so if it wasn’t for that I could have had a decent result but I tried my best and I’m going to keep on improving. I’m enjoying being in the Championship and I’m starting to understand the GSX-R a lot more. Now we can concentrate on the test and getting ready for the home race at Donington!” Paul Denning – Team Manager: “A tough weekend didn’t get a lot easier on race day here at Imola. Particularly for Eugene, we just didn’t find anything close to the right combination to allow him to ride as we know he can; two frustrating races for him and not too many positives to draw from them. For Alex the story is a little bit different. He reacted superbly and really supported the team when we had to withdraw the bike from Superpole qualifying yesterday, which obviously cost him some track time and a better grid position. In the races he found further improvements especially for race two, where the time sheets show that if he hadn’t run off the track and lost 12 seconds, he would have finished in sixth place. He has learnt a good amount over the course of the weekend and probably the most important day for us now will be tomorrow. We hope the weather will be kind and we get to run through some important changes and some important test items to get back to where we know the GSX-R can be!” Imola – eni FIM World Superbike Championship – Race One: 1. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 34’14.829: 2. Chaz Davies (Ducati) +4.511: 3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) +6.492: 4. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) +8.434: 5. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) +9.134: 7. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +19.973: 8. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +21.582: Imola – eni FIM World Superbike Championship – Race Two: 1. Rea (Honda) 34’14.255: 2. Davies (Ducati) +4.095: 3. Guintoli (Aprilia) +5.546: 4. Baz (Kawasaki) +6.285: 5. Sykes (Kawasaki) +7.147: 9. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +26.306: 10. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +33.046 : World Championship Classification: 1. Rea 139: 2. Sykes 135: 3. Guintoli 123: 4. Baz 119: 5. Davies 87: 8. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) 62: 10. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) 50:

Debut podium for Lowes at a rain soaked Assen

Lowes, starting from ninth on the grid, battled hard on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R to challenge the front runners, claiming second place on his fourth lap, and setting the first of his three fastest laps of the race. The British rider seemed unperturbed by the afternoon’s two restarts due to the forecasted heavy rain as he continued to hunt down eventual winner Honda’s Jonathan Rea. Closing the gap to the front, the Englishman set two further stunning laps, securing the Pirelli Fastest Lap award with a 1’52.975 on his penultimate revolution, to claim his debut podium on only his third weekend on the world stage. Lowes had previously mastered his best result of the championship so far with a ninth place finish in the morning’s race one. Battling with a number of riders the rookie set his personal fastest time on the 12th lap before the race was prematurely ended on a red flag at lap 17, seeing Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli victorious. Suffering from the misfortunes of the previous day’s Superpole, Eugene Laverty had a race weekend to forget despite the promising form shown in the opening two days aboard his Suzuki GSX-R1000. With two difficult starts he rode hard to regain places, recording the highest speed of the weekend of 291.7km/h during race one, but ultimately succumbed to the conditions, crashing out of both races. A tumultuous day, the morning’s race was run in a cool and dry 15°C but the afternoon soon gave way to torrential rain, resulting in an hour long delay, before the final restart and ten lap race got underway two hours later than scheduled. Voltcom Crescent Suzuki now returns to its UK headquarters with a raft of information and confidence ahead of the fourth round of the championship’s visit to Imola in Italy in a fortnight’s time. Alex Lowes: “It’s fantastic, it was a great race for me and it’s really good for the team for me to finally get on the podium! It was a wet race, so it’s never as nice as getting on the podium in the dry but I’m very happy and hopefully this can kick start our season after the injuries. It’s been a really difficult start to the year for me, and now I’ve got some good points on the board and a podium, I’m looking forward to hopefully improving both myself and the bike, and seeing if we can be a bit closer to the front in the dry!” Eugene Laverty: “We had a bad start in the first race but we had a strong pace; it was a clear 11 points so I’m really angry that I threw those away. The second race I just had a terrible feeling with the bike, after we went off the line I just had absolutely no rear grip and it was a crash waiting to happen! With three laps to go I thought ‘I’ve stayed on this far’ and then suddenly I did a 180 and I was in the air. A terrible day, two non-finishes is a big disaster. This was a track where I felt we could be strong, Friday and Saturday we were, so to leave with no points is a big disappointment.” Paul Denning – Team Manager: “The obvious highlight of a tricky race day here at Assen was Alex’s superb ride to second this afternoon. The team made some very positive changes for the wet conditions after the stoppage and allowed Alex to ride to his full potential. To come from tenth on the first lap to nearly being in a winning position at the end and to secure the fastest lap of the race against this level of competition was a stunning effort and should give Alex renewed confidence as we go to Imola. Today has been very cruel to Eugene’s championship aspirations, especially after such a positive performance from him and the bike during Friday and Saturday, and a genuine feeling by rider and team that it was a race that we could challenge to win. Things really went wrong in Superpole when the rain interrupted things for both riders but for Eugene the grid position, combined with very poor starts, added a lot of pressure and we can just be thankful that he is completely fit, as obviously with two accidents it can always be much worse. “ Assen – eni FIM Superbike World Championship – Race One: 1. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 25’56.636: 2. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) +1.259: 3. Jonathan Rea (Honda) +4.116: 4. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) +4.459: 5. Toni Elias (Aprilia) +23.728: 9. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +27.971: DNF. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) Assen – eni FIM Superbike World Championship – Race Two: 1. Rea (Honda) 19’09.464: 2. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +2.222: 3. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) +4.955: 4. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) +13.089: 5. Leon Haslam (Honda) +13.639: DNF. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI): World Championship Classification: 1. Sykes 108: 2. Guintoli 96: 3. Baz 93: 4. Rea 89: 5. Melandri 69: 8. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) 46: 10. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) 36:

Laverty fights back at Aragon

Laverty initially suffered a poor start to the morning race, dropping to 12th at the end of the first lap. Running wide in the early stages to relegate himself further, the Irishman dug deep on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R to regain his pace, closing the gap to the front group to hold eighth by lap 11. The latter third of the race saw Laverty reignite the charge further, swapping positions with both Aprilias to take fifth on the final revolution. Race two initially saw more potential, before a clash with another rider resulted in a drop to 11th. Regrouping again, the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki racer took just four laps to improve on his qualifying position, holding seventh for the majority of the race before setting his fastest time of the race on lap 15 to cross the line in a well-deserved sixth. Alex Lowes continued his progression on the world stage with a debut top ten at the Spanish circuit. A steady start allowed Lowes to circulate in eighth for the opening half of the race, before being taken by a battling group, demoting him to 11th. The British rider held his own for the closing stages, taking the dwindling Aprilia of Marco Melandri on the penultimate lap to finish 10th. A high-side at turn 13 on the second lap of the afternoon’s race denied the rookie a chance to progress his world championship education aboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000, but Lowes remains confident that he will come back fighting as the next round restores him to more familiar soil. The new-look 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Championship’s early schedule saw the races held in bright and pleasant conditions at the Alcaniz circuit, with the afternoon race reaching a high of just 19°C. Reigning champion Tom Sykes continued his dominant form adding both race wins to his Superpole achievement the previous day. Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s championship contention continues in a fortnight’s time when track action returns to the iconic ‘Cathedral’ of Assen in Holland on 27th April. Eugene Laverty: “We salvaged two decent results today. Worst-case scenario we need to be top six in any race this year, it was a difficult weekend and we achieved that! In the first race we had the potential to fight for third, but unfortunately I ran off the track twice because we are having problems with a full tank of fuel and the engine braking control at the beginning. I had the same problem in the second race but I just had to be more careful. At the end of race one, we were really strong; race two I had a good pace but on lap one Toni Elias hit me and I moved from eighth back to twelfth position. That hurt my race a lot so I had to fight back to finish sixth, but I can at least have a smile at that.” Alex Lowes: “I have struggled with the bike and the track all weekend. The first eight laps of the morning race I felt pretty good but then the tyre dropped off quite a lot so I just made sure I finished. We made some improvements to the bike in the break and I actually felt better in the first lap of the second race, until the crash, and the rest is history. I scored three points in my first race, I scored five here so at least I’m getting better! We go to a track that I know next, which is really good for me. Obviously it’s going to be easier for me to improve when I know the track and hopefully it will be easier to get the bike set up as well, so I’m looking forward to it.” Paul Denning – Team Manager: “Two difficult races today for the team, but a fifth and a sixth for Eugene were not such bad results in terms of points, and it could have been a lot worse based on the early race positions. Eugene did very well to claw his way back into contention, and what he scored today will hopefully be very important to us as the season progresses. Alex’s learning curve at world championship level continues - the Aragon track is particularly tricky and to come here with no testing and go head-to-head with the best Superbike riders in the world was never going to be easy. He made good progress across the course of the weekend and it was a shame that the crash in the second race didn’t let him continue that learning curve. We move on to Assen, Imola and Donington for the next three races, and as a team we are confident that those circuits will suit the Suzuki better and that we will be able to challenge for the podiums.” Aragon – eni FIM World Superbike Championship – Race One: 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 33’38.583: 2. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) +4.275: 3. Jonathan Rea (Honda) +8.418: 4. Chaz Davies (Ducati) +15.715: 5. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +19.305: 10: ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +29.863: Aragon – eni FIM World Superbike Championship – Race Two: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 33’37.223: 2. Baz (Kawasaki) +0.338: 3. Marco Melandri (Aprilia) +0.470: 4. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) +5.429: 5. Rea (Honda) +8.861: 6. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +15.986: DNF ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI):

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki victorious as Laverty wins 2014 maiden race!

Fighting back from a difficult start, a determined Laverty made his way through from seventh to hunt down the leading pack of Giugliano, Melandri and Guintoli by lap seven. Biding his time, the Irishman advanced on the leaders, making his break for the lead on lap 17 and not looking back. The Yoshimura-powered GSX-R firmly controlled the pace for the remaining five laps bringing the first victory for Crescent Suzuki on the world stage. Race two continued to find Laverty challenging for the lead, a brief battle in the opening laps resulted in the Suzuki GSX-R again dominating the mid-race before a mechanical issue – causing a visible engine failure - bought about an early end to the weekend’s activities. Alex Lowes, battling the injury sustained in Saturday’s free practice, looked to be finding a strong rhythm in his debut race in the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, before a crash at turn one saw his efforts halted prematurely. Regrouping for race two, the Englishman’s team worked tirelessly to rebuild the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000. Despite running on at turn four in the opening lap, Lowes’ determination saw him charging through the field and into the top 10, from 21st, in just five laps. Scoring his fastest lap of the race on his second revolution, Lowes held the fastest time for a further 10. The ankle injury ultimately compromising his race, and causing a further mistake at turn four, Lowes finished his debut weekend with three points and a top 13 finish to show for his brave efforts. Sunshine, blue skies and a pleasant 22°C greeted the growing crowd as the track temperature fluctuated by more than 10 degrees between the two races, peaking at 48°C for the afternoon’s event. As the championship prepares to travel back to Europe, Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli heads the standings with 41 points, Laverty’s win positions him in fifth and Lowes begins his rookie campaign in 15th. Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will now use the month-long break to re-evaluate the data from this weekend’s racing before preparing for the first European leg of the World Championship with a private test at Jerez on 31st March ahead of the second round of competition at Aragon in Spain on Sunday 13th April. Eugene Laverty: “A day of highs and lows! The first race was incredible! To be so far back on the first lap and come through to win, it was the perfect race for us and a nice way to pay back the whole team for the belief they’ve shown in me. Paul Denning worked hard to get me on board and he delivered everything I needed. He brought in my Crew Chief Phil Marron, Davide Gentile to work on the electronics, and Stan, who I’ve worked with before. All the rest of the boys have welcomed me, so it was nice to be able to reward them with the win right away, and it’s a win that means more to me than any so far in my WSBK career. The second race was a disappointment for everyone. We didn’t deserve that, that’s for sure but that’s racing and unfortunately that’s how it goes sometimes.” Alex Lowes: “I’m frustrated with today. I tried really hard and don’t have a lot to show for it really. The first race crash, and in the second race the run on, on the first lap and then the crash later was all because I was struggling to change gear with my foot. I had a numbing injection, lost a bit of feeling and I couldn’t change gear so it was hard work! I was riding through the pain, so to just get three points has upset me a bit because we had such good pace all through the test. I’ve never been here before and we were still looking like we could run at the front and challenge for a podium so I’m really disappointed, but I’m going to come back fitter and stronger and we should be ok for Aragon.” Paul Denning – Team Manager: “It’s very strange to have won our first ever World Superbike race - and in such a dominant fashion - and still be leaving Phillip Island feeling very disappointed! As a team we are very sorry to have let Eugene down in race two when another podium - and quite possibly another win - was on the cards. We will do everything in our power to ensure it’s the last time! “The additional disappointment is for Alex who was so unlucky to dislocate his ankle in the Saturday morning crash, many other riders crashed heavily and got away with it. The injury made it impossible to enter the corners properly, and inevitably the difficulty in down-shifting gears caused the mistakes in the races. The frustrating thing is that he was still so fast and could have joined the fight at the front. “I have to once again thank the team and all our partners for getting us and the Suzuki GSX-R back in to the winner’s circle and on top of that, thank Eugene for believing in this project and for riding with such aggression, precision and outright desire to win.” Phillip Island – eni FIM Superbike World Championship – Race One: 1. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) 33’39.440: 2. Marco Melandri (Aprilia) +2.959: 3. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) +3.034: 4. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) +6.972: 5. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) +11.132: DNF. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI): Phillip Island – eni FIM Superbike World Championship – Race Two: 1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 21’34.034: 2. Baz (Kawasaki) +0.283: 3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) +1.103: 4. Giugliano (Ducati) +2.052: 5. Jonathan Rea (Honda) +4.951: 13. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) +19.694: DNF. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI): World Championship Classification: 1. Guintoli 41: 2. Baz 31: 3. Melandri 28: 4. Giugliano 26: 5. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) 25: 15. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) 3:

Laverty shines in the Australian sun as testing begins

Laverty took to the 4,445m Victoria circuit aboard the newly liveried Suzuki GSX-R1000 aiming for a base time of 1’33.0 with which to start the two-day test, but with conditions almost perfect he exceeded even his own expectations. Putting in a time of 1’30.5, Laverty ended the morning session as the rider to beat. New to the Phillip Island circuit, teammate Alex Lowes learnt the track quickly, and despite a small crash in the latter stages, concluded the first session comfortably in the top ten, with a lap time of 1’31.6 placing him eighth. Clear blue skies allowed temperatures in the afternoon session to climb to a pleasant 23°C with a south westerly wind occasionally catching riders out. Lowes continued to improve throughout the day ending the afternoon in fourth place for the second session with a time of 1’31.0, and holding fifth in the combined standings. Laverty’s morning time proved a tough call for the challenging pack and the Irishman concluded the first day’s testing with the strongest time overall. Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will now continue to assess the data collected, in readiness for tomorrow’s final day of testing at the Australian track, before the eni FIM Superbike World Championship’s first race of the 2014 season commences this Sunday. Eugene Laverty: “We surprised ourselves with the lap time today. We were a lot faster than where I’d set my goal and the fact that the bike works so well around here is nice too! Today is probably the best conditions I’ve ever had at Phillip Island, usually you have a strong head wind, strong tail wind, or it’s too hot and slippery. Today was optimum temperature with very little wind so that’s why the lap times were so quick. In terms of feedback the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R is better than any Superbike I’ve ridden here, I can really attack the course more than I ever have done, and that gives me a lot of confidence. The rear tyres are working well too, even after 24 laps we are still under my lap record so that’s definitely positive!” Alex Lowes: “Today was good fun! It’s always difficult coming to a new track but Phillip Island is a track that I have dreamed of racing on since I was a kid, I was really looking forward to it and it didn’t disappoint. It’s quite difficult to learn because of the speed but it’s fantastic. I love the last corner and Stoner Corner is probably one of the best I’ve ever ridden around. I had a couple of issues with the bike this morning and missed a bit of time and had a little crash, which was my fault, but the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R has performed better every time I’ve been out. We’ve taken some good steps in the right direction and hopefully we’ll continue to do more tomorrow. I’m reasonably happy with where we are and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.” Phillip Island – eni FIM Superbike World Championship - Official Test: 1. EUGENE LAVERTY (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) 1’30.513: 2. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 1’30.718: 3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’30.737: 4. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1’30.757: 5. ALEX LOWES (VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI) 1’31.000: 6. Marco Melandri (Aprilia) 1’31.146: 7. Leon Haslam (Honda) 1’31.172: 8. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’31.321: 9. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1’31.404: 10. Chaz Davies (Ducati) 1’31.419:


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