Sam Lowes was back in action with ELF Marc VDS at Jerez this week as he sat top five for the final private Moto2 test.
Over six months since his Silverstone accident which curtailed his 2022 season, Lowes was back to full strength and dispatching 146 laps of the Andalucian circuit across Tuesday and Wednesday.
Focusing on testing the limits of both his rehabilitated shoulder and the upgraded Triumph 765cc three-cylinder engine, with its extra 400 revs, the 32-year-old set a personal best lap of 1’41.851 which placed him fifth overall in the combined times, just shy of teammate Tony Arbolino.
“I’m so happy with how the test has gone,” Lowes confirmed from Spain, ahead of this weekend’s official pre-season outing at Portimao. “Particularly from a physical point of view. I’ve worked really hard in the off-season on the shoulder, and everything feels normal on the bike.
“I was able to do a lot of laps on both days with some long runs, so from a physical perspective it was only positives.
“I haven’t been able to ride a bike properly since I first got the injury in early August last year, so it was a great feeling. The second day here has been very important because we got to assess the new engine and chassis together and obviously they are hugely important components that we need to fully understand. I also had some suspension parts from Ohlins, so it has been an intense test but a successful one.
“I would say 90 per cent of what we tried felt like an improvement, so we have finished the test in a good way. We now move to Portimao for the final test and that is a completely different track to Jerez, so it will be good to understand how well the new parts work there. But I had a good rhythm with no real issues in Jerez, so I don’t think this test could have gone much better.”