Voltcom Crescent Suzuki prepares to bid farewell to the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship with the season’s spectacular final race set under the floodlights of Qatar’s Losail International Circuit on Sunday 18th October.
Suzuki racers Alex Lowes and Randy de Puniet both have experience of the 5,380m desert circuit, with the former achieving two top-10 finishes and strong race-pace aboard his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R during last year’s visit. De Puniet has raced at the Qatar track on 10 previous occasions on MotoGP™ and 250cc machinery but is determined to finish his first Superbike season with a strong race weekend on his Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Due to its desert location – on the outskirts of Qatar’s capital city Doha – with temperatures often reaching 40°C, the Losail International Circuit will run its World Superbike race weekend under the slightly cooler cover of darkness. Built in 2004, the FIA and FIM homologated facilities, however, are illuminated by 1000 floodlights providing daylight conditions as the competitors battle their way around the 16-corner, clockwise layout, with speeds of up to 327kph recorded last time out thanks to its kilometre-long finish straight.
Alex Lowes: “Qatar is always a great race and something a little more exciting due to it being the only night race! I’m really determined to finish my season strong for Suzuki and the team, as they have worked so hard all year, so I’m expecting a lot from the weekend. I know the track from last year; it’s a fun layout with a lot of really quick corners in the middle section which is my favourite part of the lap. I really can’t wait to get there, get out on my GSX-R and see what we can do for the last round.”
Randy de Puniet: “I like the Qatar track, I have raced there many times and I especially like riding there at night. The lights give you consistent vision and the different schedule makes an interesting weekend – with more free time during the day and on track in the evening. The three right corners, before the final left-hander at the end of the lap, is a very fast section which I really enjoy, the track can be a little slippery on the first day but the grip always improves as the weekend develops. I always have fun and enjoy Qatar so I’m looking forward to the weekend. It is the last race of the year and I would like to finish my season with a good weekend and enjoy riding the GSX-R.”