Sam Lowes was taking the positives away from his pace during the 2023 French Moto2 weekend at Le Mans, despite taking only a single point away from a race he began from pole position.
Arriving at the French venue on the crest of a wave after his dominant pole-to-flag victory in the Spanish Moto2 at Jerez, the Marc VDS Racing rider appeared on course for a similar result when he swept to back-to-back poles in qualifying.
However, after losing the lead to team-mate Tony Arbolino and Ajo KTM’s Pedro Acosta at the start, a slip under braking for the tricky Turn 2-3 Dunlop Chicane sent the Briton down, his skating Kalex fortunate not to collect the leaders ahead.
Nevertheless, Lowes received a potential reprieve moments later when an accident at Turn 4 involving multiple riders led to a red flag and with it the chance for him to make the full restart.
However, despite frantic efforts to prepare the bike to get back on track for a quick restart, Lowes would just miss out on making it on course in the allotted time, forcing him to start from the pit-lane.
With the race distance shortened to 14 laps, Lowes’ fight back through the field could only take him to 15th, earning him just a single point for his efforts.
“Obviously it’s disappointing,” he said. “I had the pace to do something nice and maybe have two Elf Marc VDS riders on the podium. Sometimes racing is like this. Thankfully we could make the restart and get a point. Now we’ve scored points in every race.
“The team did an amazing job. It was quite a fast crash and the bike was rolling a lot. I have to say thank you to them, both sides of the garage. It’s unfortunate I couldn’t give them a good result. But at least I could fight in the restart, and it was only a short race.
“The first three laps I didn’t have that much tyre temperature so it took me three laps to keep going. I was actually quite happy with my pace because every time I had a free track, I was running the pace of the leaders.
“There are some positives to take. The speed in qualifying is something we can take from this weekend. I need to keep working, and keep my head down to come back in Mugello, which has been a good track for me historically.
“ The team should be proud, Tony did a great job. There’s a long way to go. We have three races in a row now so hopefully we can get going there. It was nice to get a point, it feels like we got something out of the weekend and we’ll keep going.”
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