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The Pata #yamaha Official WorldSBK Team concluded a successful four days of pre-season testing at Portugal's Autodromo do Algarve this afternoon. Sharing the 4,592m track with over 30 World Superbike, Supersport and BSB riders, #alexlowes and teammate #michaelvandermark completed their respective test programmes and provided Yamaha's engineers with detailed feedback to assist with the next stage of the WorldSBK YZF-R1's performance development.
Encouraging progress throughout the week's previous three days' testing allowed a steady start to the final day as the Pata #yamaha Team completed a thorough rebuild of Lowes' YZF-R1 after Saturday afternoon's crash, ensuring the machine's recalibrations and functions were to the correct specifications to continue the evaluation. With increasingly threatening dark clouds overhead, the British rider immediately set out on a race simulation, choosing to concentrate on consistency rather than on single-lap performance. Accomplishing his goal with excellence over full race distance, Lowes opened the run with a 1'43.2 and concluded on an equally competitive 1'43.7, 20 laps later - the British rider also completing a second 12-lap run as the afternoon progressed. Lowes produced a best time of 1'42.533 on his 54th lap of the day, tallying 128 across the Portuguese weekend. Having collated data and feedback on multiple newly-developed control strategies and working on his riding style as the race simulations developed, the team now has an array of information to continue its fine-tuning of the YZF-R1 ahead of the championship opener in a month's time.
Having fully explored his set-up options with his newly-acquired #yamaha Superbike, van der Mark concluded January testing with a best of 1'42.794 on his 75th lap of the Algarve circuit, happy with the direction of progress. With every chassis adjustment providing valuable information for the #yamaha rookie, the continued evaluation of the ideal balance between grip and agility of the machine alongside its stability, both under braking and acceleration, has left the Dutchman confident of the YZF-R1's performance on new and used rubber. With 144 laps of the Portimão "rollercoaster" under his belt, van der Mark can now turn his attention to the first race of the year on Saturday 25th February.
European testing concluded, packing and preparation is now the order of the day as the Pata #yamaha Official WorldSBK Team readies itself to travel to Australia for the 'Yamaha Finance' opening round of the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship and the official test at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit commencing on Monday 20th February.
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