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MotoGP Austria: 'It's my nemesis track’ - Lowes

Sam Lowes rode to a stunning pole at Spielberg on Saturday after struggling with grip on his Elf Marc VDS Kalex.

Securing his fourth pole position of 2021 at the scorching Austrian venue - with track temperatures almost 10℃ higher than the previous weekend - Lowes was jubilant after defeating what he describes as his ‘nemesis track’.

Having worked tirelessly across the weekend to solve the issues faced during the StyrianGP, the Brit ultimately switched to the hard option Dunlop in the closing stages of Q2 before powering to a flawless 1’28.659 lap. Racking up his 15th career pole and boosting his confidence ahead of Sundays 25-lap battle.


“This pole position feels incredible at a track that is not my best and I don’t think I could have expected to have produced that kind of performance,” Lowes admitted from Parc Fermé.

“It is the best lap I’ve ever managed at this track and it came in very hot conditions, so I’m very happy and proud of both my performance and how the team have helped me be so competitive. Because this track, for me, I’m missing something, especially the first two sectors, it’s hard for me to understand.

“We made some good steps with the bike yesterday and also this morning, and in FP3 I felt my rhythm was strong. Maybe not the fastest but very close on the soft and hard rear tyre.

“At the start of Q2 I felt good with the soft rear tyre but it was pushing the front a lot. I felt good, but couldn’t release the brake and turn so I came in for the hard and felt I had better corner speed and that was vital for the pole lap. The grip was a little bit less but in the turning was so much better and I managed to make pole position with this tyre, so that takes the doubt out for tomorrow, we know which is the race tyre,” he confirmed.

“Like all these classes here in this paddock, it’s very difficult to be there, week in, week out and it’s very, very close, so as soon as you miss something or you lose a little bit of confidence, is hard to come back but we’re working hard.

“My pace has been good today, we improved the bike from last weekend, yesterday, put all our package together today. FP3 was good, Qualifying we’re here, so obviously a little bit stronger.

“We’ve seen all weekend how close the lap times are and I think it is going to a tough race. If the track is hot again it might spread the field out but I feel if we can find more speed in sector one and two, then we have a great chance of a strong result.

“It’s my nemesis track, so if I can ride like this and perform a good race tomorrow, headed to my home race in Silverstone next, we can be very happy,” he concluded confidently.

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