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MotoGP Aragon: Lowes ‘struggling with the front’ before crash

Sam Lowes launched from pole at one of his favourite circuits on the Moto2 calendar, MotorLand Aragón, and was running a strong second before Sunday’s story changed.

The Brit crashed out at turn seven on the 13th lap, having led for the opening four before setting into a rhythm behind eventual race winner Raul Fernandez.

“It was one of them, I’m obviously very gutted because I like this track and after a good run of results - not top results but a good five or six races finishing - I wanted to make a step back on the podium and fight for the win,” the Brit explained from the Spanish paddock on Sunday afternoon.


“It was just unfortunate, made a small mistake, just got on the throttle a little bit early, lifted the front and that was it.”

Having impressed with a strong start, Lowes claimed the holeshot off the lights. Gaining over a six-tenth gap by the end of the first revolution before leading the opening laps.

“I’m getting better at them! “ Lowes said proudly. “I felt good, honestly. “Like I said it’s a track that I really enjoy and the conditions were quite hot, a bit different to the weekend so far, and I just got into the race. Fernandez was real strong, real good in sector one and two, and I just sort of kept the gap. I didn’t want to get too close because I was struggling with the front and as we know, he did a great job.

“He’s struggling with a little bit of an injury so I thought maybe the last four or five laps I could get back to him. So I just was sort of sitting there really, I didn’t feel too bad. I was actually a lot slower in the corner than the laps before, but then I was trying to get out, use the grip rather than force the front and actually it was like a double edged sword and caused me to crash.

“The rear tyre was a lot better than I expected but the front after about four or five laps started to move a lot under braking, roll a lot and that’s why I was trying to stop it more before the corner and go through the corner. I think using the hard front, everyone did, I think it’s so good, with Dunlop it works in such a wide range of window. We can use it in the morning sessions, but maybe just in the race it was quite hot, so you have to be more careful. I just take the throttle there and then I go down, so I was, sort of in my head, I was past the danger point. I was pushing the front a lot going in, I was already in the corner looking through and didn’t expect to lose it at that point,” he explained.

“I was just sort of biding my time. He was setting a good pace - it was a lot slower than we’d all done all weekend. It was not really hard to do the pace, it was just about not making a mistake but I did. I felt like I could stay there and in the last three or four laps give it more of a go but at the time I actually crashed, I wasn’t thinking to go forward.”

Reflecting on Fernandez’ achievement despite the KTM rider’s recent hand injury, Lowes compared it to his own injury trials last season, explaining “I think once you get going in the race - like me in Portugal last year, I didn’t even personally didn’t think I could do it and when you get in the race, it takes over. He’s been real strong this weekend, especially in the first two sectors, He’s limited his laps but all the ones he’s done have been strong. This year they’re doing a mega job and it’s hard to underestimate them.

“He was setting the exits up a lot better, which is something that I tried to do the laps after. He was just sort of opening the corner up a bit and using that early grip to get out, so the first six or seven laps he was stronger. Then I sort of felt like he lost that a bit and we were sort of at a bit of a stalemate and then at the end, obviously now we’ll never know what would have happened. He just focused really a lot on the exits which will obviously bode well for him next season.”

While the Brit is obviously frustrated by today’s early exit, there’s little time to dwell as the paddock packs up and moves on to Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli next weekend. Another favourite of the Marc VDS man, it’s also a second home race, of sorts, as his Fiancée is from the area.

“Misano was a good one for me last year,” Lowes continued. “I had a good race from pit lane, and then a podium the week after. It’s a track that I love. Just unfortunate here because I felt good all weekend, I’ve not really made any mistakes and then to do it in the race, it’s just one of them. But with the last three or four or five races, and this weekend’s pace, I can go there confident and I need to get back on the podium,” he confirmed.

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