Sam Lowes was forced to sit out of the Moto2 French GP on Sunday after vision issues during warm-up brought up safety concerns.
A heavy highside and ensuing collision with his Elf Marc VDS machine during Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session left Lowes suffering from back and knee pain overnight. Despite the discomfort, the Brit took to the 4.2km Bugatti Circuit for Sunday morning’s warm-up in a bid to compete in the 25-lap race, equalling his fourth place in the standings from the previous day.
During the 10 minute evaluation, however, he suffered further pain to the base of his skull with his vision also affected and the decision was made to withdraw from the event, leaving Lowes one of the 110,000 strong spectators at the Sarthe venue.
“I felt quite sore over night – in my back and the top of my knee,” Lowes explained from the Le Mans paddock. “But when I was on the bike, I had more pain at the top of my neck and the back of my head.
“In the first few laps I was struggling a bit to focus and with my vision. When I told the doctors about this after warm-up they said I couldn’t race. I agreed with them because I found it difficult to judge the distance, which wouldn’t have been good for the start of the race.
“It’s frustrating because in warm-up I was fast and to sit and watch the race as I did was difficult. You have to have respect for yourself and for the other people on the grid, especially in the first laps. Also, I don’t think I could have concentrated for 40 minutes of racing.
“The rules are the rules and it’s safety first. I’d like to apologise to the team because the bike has been great all weekend and we’ll try again at the next one.”