Having started on the front row of the Moto2 grid for the first time Sam Lowes was pleased with the progress that his SpeedUp team made at the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello. The Englishman finished eighth in the race but was able to fight with the group of seven riders that challenged for fourth place.
Speaking after the race Lowes admitted that the nervous handling of his bike in the early stages cost him time and confidence in the fight:
“I had a little bit of trouble at the start and lost the rear into turn four and then again into turn seven,” said Lowes. “I tucked the front again in the first two laps so I thought that something might have been wrong with the pressure or the oil on the tyres and then it got a bit better and I got my head down and into a bit of a rhythm. In the middle of the race our pace wasn’t bad but I just struggled and we need to make the bike easier to ride and to make the laptime. I can do it for one lap but then on the next lap I’ll miss a corner and it won’t be as easy.”
Having shown his single lap pace was good this weekend by qualifying second Lowes struggled with the bike once he was lapping in traffic. Having spent most of the weekend riding in clean air to try and set his fast times on his own the characteristics of the bike seemed to change when he was racing with other riders and he wasn’t able to set the consistent times that he expected:
“We’re lacking a little bit but I feel that I’m riding good but when I’m with those guys the bike is just a little bit harder to ride then them. I’m making a lot more effort than they are so we’ve got to sort that out. We’ve got a test here on Tuesday and after Barcelona we’ve got some more testing as well so we’ll keep trying.
“When the bike comes back online I’m losing the front. They seem to be backing it in less and then going straight into the corner. We’re only losing a little bit here and there but it’s three or four corners on this track and that’s two or three tenths. I’m quite happy with the potential so we just need to keep working.”
Overall however for Lowes, who finished two seconds behind Simone Corsi in fourth position, the weekend was clearly a step forward from the early season races and he is confident that in the upcoming races, at tracks that he is familiar with from World Supersport, that he can start to challenge the leading group on a consistent basis:
“It’s been a massive step forward for us and it’s been a good weekend for us. We’ve got a lot of good data and we’ve got the tests coming up as well. We’re working well as a team.”