Sam Lowes will start the French GP from fourth after a turn eight crash curtailed his Moto2 pole quest at Le Mans on Saturday.
The Elf Marc VDS rider suffered a blow to his back from his Kalex machine after the heavy highside mid-way through the final qualifying session on Saturday afternoon. The Brit, however, has been cleared of any injuries and is raring to go for Sunday’s 25-lap race from the head of row two.
Packed crowds and high temperatures made a change for the intermediate class after the closed and wet Bugatti Circuit of recent years. Lowes showcased his strong rhythm in the morning’s FP3, with nine laps in the 1’36s in a fast 14-lap run before ending the session fourth in the combined times.
The 31-year-old posted the fastest time of Q2’s opening half - a 1’36.071 - before a highside on the exit of turn eight caught him out and cut short his afternoon, leaving him with pain in his leg and back.
“I felt very good in FP3 this morning and really good in qualifying,” Lowes explained after the action. "The team has done a great job improving the bike from yesterday with some small changes.
”I felt quite good this morning on the race tyres so it’s a shame to crash in qualifying. I apologise to the team because it’s never good to crash, and we didn’t show our full potential.
“I’m feeling quite sore. Hopefully I’ll feel better in the morning and we can put a nice race together.
"Thanks to the team again, because our pace is good and the bike is much improved compared to yesterday. I’ll try to get a good rest tonight and have a good go at it tomorrow.”