Strong feeling and fourth in warm up failed to translate in the Argentina GP for Elf Marc VDS’ Sam Lowes.
A difficult weekend at Termas de Rio Hondo began with no bikes and ended with a top ten for Lowes after the Brit struggled at a track he usually excels at. Previous podium pedigree failed to materialise as the intermediate class had just 100 minutes of track time ahead of qualifying and a further 20 minutes of Sunday warm up before the 23-lap race. Despite that, Sunday looked to be off to a bright start for the 31-year-old as Lowes concluded warm-up fourth in the standings with consistent low 1’43 pace.
The feeling and the pace, however, did not translate to the race. Enduring the hottest conditions of the weekend, with track temperatures of 42℃ making rear tyre management key, Lowes struggled with rear grip through the left turns in the first half of the race. His confidence increased as the contest counted down, allowing him to set a series of personal best laps as he climbed from twelfth to tenth. Crossing the line 14s behind the race winner, the result sees Lowes drop to fifth in the World Championship with 35 points, 35 behind leader Celestino Vietti.
“It was a difficult race for us,” Lowes admitted. “It wasn’t what we expected. I didn’t have the same feeling as this morning in the first laps. It was a difficult weekend.
“I’m happy to get six points and have something to go to America with but this wasn’t what we were after.
“The feeling in some sessions was really good, my pace was really good. In the race the grip was inconsistent for me between the left and the right turns so this is something we need to understand and improve.
"We know what we can do. I just want to say a big thank you to the team for the big job this weekend. They’ve done a lot of work. Sorry to them I couldn’t score more points but it’s better than a zero. We’ll go to Austin to fight back on the podium and keep working.”