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Lowes’ wrist woes - ‘I feel better, the squeaking’s stopped’

A unexpectedly difficult Moto2 preseason saw Sam Lowes dealing with tendonitis in his left wrist as the Elf Marc VDS rider sat out of Portimao testing.

As the days count down to Qatar’s opening race of the 2022 season Bikesportnews.com caught up with the Brit to find out how the recovery was going.

“It's something a bit strange,” Lowes explained from Italy as he prepared to leave for the opening race of the year. “Alex has actually suffered a little bit in the past. It's just tendonitis.


“We did the first test, I did a bit of training, maybe a bit less riding than I normally would because the season's a bit earlier but then went straight to Valencia for the Moto2 test, everything was good. I did quite a lot of laps, there's a lot of left corners in Valencia and on the second day my shoulder and arm was feeling a bit tired but is normal after the winter. I didn't really think anything of it.

“Then the day after I had some strange pain in my wrist, it was real difficult to move and was making like a squeaking sound.

"I called Alex because I know that he's had issues with it and he said ‘Honestly bro, no idea where it comes from but it just starts up’. The problem is basically the tendon got a bit inflamed but then obviously as you keep using it, the inflammation doesn't go down because you're using it. So it was quite painful, a little bit weak really, that's the main problem it's not that strong. Then Jerez, the first day I did quite a lot of laps, didn't feel too bad honestly. Felt really good on the bike, a little bit of pain but nothing to really mention. Just a bit sore, no worries but I got up the next day and I felt like someone had been hitting it with a hammer all night so it was quite painful. Didn't ride really day two in Jerez and then Portimao was even worse.

“I spoke with a few people, there's actually a motocross rider, Pauls Jonass who's just had an operation for exactly the same thing but on the right side, which is obviously worse. So I spoke a little bit with him but in motocross they have to ride a lot in between Grand Prix or in between events. They have to ride a lot in the week. So once he got it inflamed he couldn't get on top of it so he had to have the operation. Alex, the same, he had a few issues with it when he was with Yamaha, went to Suzuka with the handlebars in different position because obviously they share the bike, exaggerated the problem a little bit and he had the operation in the middle of the season but was actually one of his best years! So I don't think it's too much of an operation but again, then you have a big scar on your wrist and this also can cause some issues.

“So I spoke with all the people had to speak to, we've been in hospitals everywhere to check and it's a strange one because rest is what you need but rest as a rider, and as me with what I'm like, it's difficult to do! I feel a lot better. I feel a lot, lot better this week than I did last week. I feel like I'm not 100 per cent but definitely like I'm getting on top of it. So yeah, I'm looking forward to Qatar.

"This time last week I was really a bit nervous and not sure how I was going to feel but it feels a lot better now. I have a full understanding of what the problem is and I spoke to quite a lot of people that have had it. Nathan Watson also, my brother spoke to him about it, he’s an enduro rider that's had it. So now I'm less worried about it because I understand what it is and everything but I feel better, the squeaking’s stopped and the swelling has gone down a bit so I'm hopeful we can stay on top of it.

“Obviously with testing you're in your leathers all day doing 80 laps, it's a lot of different,” he continued on his approach to the season ahead.

“On a race weekend, you have a 40 minute session then I can get treatment. So it's one of those things, I could get on top of it and never suffer again or it could be an issue and I have to have an operation. I don't know, obviously, but speaking to the doctors, they've been quite clear. The best is to get on top of it now, and I could never have an issue again or if I do, the operation is not so difficult let's say, They just get in there and just basically cut it out, because your tendon’s in like a sheathing and they just basically bore it out a bit so you've got more space. When it starts squeaking and rubbing it's because the lubrication's sort of gone so it then burns away, that's why Alex had to have his operation, there was loads of pieces, well obviously when you get that, the swelling's never going to go down. So it's sort of like past the point of no return which I'm not at that stage yet. Hopefully we just get on top of it but I don't think we have more than a weekend off now till July or something like that. Back-to-back races and tests, obviously tests I could miss if I had to, so even the operation is about fitting it in but I feel a lot better this week and I feel like I hopefully can be on top of it.”

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