Perez believes Red Bull can maintain its dominance in the 2024 season Perez believes Red Bull can maintain its dominance in the 2024 season

Perez believes Red Bull can maintain its dominance in the 2024 season

Perez believes Red Bull can maintain its dominance in the 2024 season

Jakarta - Red Bull racer Sergio Perez admitted that he was optimistic that his team could maintain their strong dominance in the 2024 Formula 1 season with the RB20 car which he had tested in pre-season testing in Bahrain, Thursday (22/2) local time.

Perez recorded 129 laps at the Bahrain International Circuit and finished as the second fastest racer after Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) with only 0.758 seconds behind.

“Obviously we had a really dominant car last year. "I think we all hoped to continue with a similar concept, but Red Bull always surprises us and the people at the factory are very brave and they have done a good job," said Perez, quoted from the official Formula 1 website, Friday.

This belief was further strengthened when Perez assessed that Red Bull was in the right direction to perfect the RB20.

Moreover, trying it out at the Bahrain International Circuit is an added value because it has a fairly difficult track, thus encouraging racers and cars to be able to overcome these challenges.

“In general, this is definitely a step forward and we are in the right direction with this car,” said Perez.

“It's definitely a very tricky track. From morning to evening, we did some set-up and understood some suitable settings. "It's very complicated because the track often changes every race, so we have to base everything on our feelings," he added.

When asked about his predictions regarding this season's competition, the racer from Mexico admitted that he didn't want to think further and just wanted to solidify his focus in each series of races he competed in.

“I'm sure everyone is also trying to get closer to us. "I don't think we paid much attention to (our rivals) in that regard," Perez said.

“At the moment we are basically focused on our work, we are very busy with our program. "I think later in the last session, there will be more ideas, but I think we will find out later (after the Bahrain Grand Prix)," he added.

Alex Lowes leads WSBK Australia free practice session

Kawasaki Racing Team racer Alex Lowes led the first World Superbike (WSBK) free practice session this season which was held at the Phillip Island Circuit, Australia, Friday.

Quoted from the official WSBK statement, Lowes appeared to dominate and finished by setting the latest lap record, namely 1 minute 29.042 seconds.

“Quite a lot of laps were pretty good for me. "My speed remains fine, we know that this year there seem to be so many riders who are just as fast," said Lowes.

Furthermore, the British racer said that the settings on his motorbike's engine today were the key to his dominance in the free practice session.

However, he doesn't want to be careless because according to him there are still several parts that have the potential to be improved further.

“I'm sure there are a lot of areas we can improve, but in general I'm fine. "I feel positive, feel good today," Lowes said.

The 33 year old racer is now targeting to perform better in the qualifying session which will take place on Saturday (24/2).

“If I can qualify well, then I think I can take part tomorrow and start 2024 with more confidence,” he said.

Meanwhile, behind Lowes is junior racer Nicolo Bulega who made his debut in WSBK from the World Supersport class under the Aruba.It Ducati team. Bulega is only 0.059 seconds behind Lowes.

Next in third to sixth positions were Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha), Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team), Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad), and Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team).

Top riders such as Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) started quietly with a tenth overall finish and Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) who returned to the track after a break from motorsport, finished in seventh position.

2023 WSBK world champion Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Ducati) finished in 12th overall, while his eternal rival, Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) ended in 16th overall.

On Saturday (24/2), the Australian WSBK series at Phillips Island will start with the third free practice session followed by the qualifying session and the first race.

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