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MotoGP Mandalika: Lowes ‘using my head more, important to get points’

Elf Marc VDS’ Sam Lowes survived tricky conditions at the Mandalika Circuit on Sunday to complete the shortened 16-lap race fourth.

While a win may not have been on the cards for Lowes at the first Indonesian Grand Prix in 25 years, the strong finish, firmly in Lombok’s leading group consolidated his grip on the Moto2 Championship’s top three.

With tropical conditions heating up and threatening storms on the already resurfaced but quickly deteriorating asphalt, at turns 2, 3 and 17, the decision was taken to cut the race from 25 to 16 laps for the intermediate class action. Spots of rain hanging in the air as the contest began, with 30℃ air temperatures and 72 per cent humidity heating the track to the mid-40’s.


Starting from his second consecutive front row start of the year, Lowes immediately launched into second as the lights released, behind race-long leader and eventual winner Somkiat Chantra.

Despite losing positions to Jake Dixon, before his fellow Brit fell, Celestino Vietti and Aron Canet, Lowes posted his personal best lap as the race reached two-thirds distance. His 1’36.189 effort allowing him to consolidate fourth place in the challenging conditions and maintain third in the Championship standings with a two-race total of 29 points.

“The race wasn’t the best but it was really important to finish and get some points,” Lowes said from the Mandalika paddock. “This weekend I felt a lot better on the bike and in the morning I had a step up in performance.

“In the race I had a different feeling. When it started to rain, I was not really aggressive and stayed quite relaxed. I saw Jake crash and it was more important for me to finish the race and get some points to give me something to build on – the opposite to 2021.

"I want to thank the team. The bike was good. It was another decent finish. That’s what it’s all about at the minute: using my head more in certain situations.

“When I saw it was difficult to go with Chantra and fight for the podium, I decided to finish fourth. I had a big gap behind. We’ll now go to Argentina and try and improve.”

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