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MotoGP Misano: Pitlane to eighth for heroic Lowes

Britain’s Sam Lowes knows how to dig deep and put on a show when under pressure as this afternoon’s performance at the Misano MotoGP round captured brilliantly.

Despite a stunning pole position in yesterday’s qualifying, Lowes was forced to start from pitlane due to a penalty from the Styrian Grand Prix and the Marc VDS rider produced a heroic comeback, passing 16 bikes in 25 laps to the delight of the reduced but enthusiastic crowd - the first time spectators have been allowed to watch from the grandstands since MotoGP restarted in July.

Losing 12.5 seconds to the leaders on lap one due to his penalty, the 30-year-old tomorrow quickly found his rhythm and began passing riders ahead. Maintaining a pace equal to the front for the majority, Lowes was the fastest rider on track on several occasions and was inside the top 15 by the 19th lap.


Fighting doggedly to the end, the Englishman caught a group of riders in the final five laps, passing them all to finish a fantastic eighth, in a race that was 30 seconds faster than in 2019.

The result sees Lowes remain in sixth place in the World Championship with 67 points, 45 behind leader Luca Marini.

“For me, the start was a little bit strange. I accept the penalty 100 per cent but there was nobody there to tell me what to do, it was not organised very well so that’s a little bit frustrating and I think we lost more time than maybe we should have but I enjoyed the race.

“The first time I checked the pit board was with three laps to go so it definitely went quick,” said Lowes, speaking at the track.

“I’m really happy with the way I’ve come back from Austria because that was a low point. As I’ve always said I made a mistake last time but I’m a clean rider and it was nice to make all those overtakes in a good way.

“You know you can’t fight to win the race so it takes a little of the expectation away, today, the first three or four laps were really difficult because you don’t have the same feeling, the same adrenaline as with a race start but after that I felt quite relaxed passing, the race went real fast and there isn’t much time to think, you just think about the next guy, the next guy, which probably helps you stay focused.

“As soon as you get into the top 20 it’s really difficult to pass anywhere but in turn eight and 14 I was really strong, we actually went a little shorter with the gearing than our optimum, knowing I would be in a battle in the race so that helped me a little, I could drive between 13 and 14 and overtake.

I learnt a lot from the race, seeing all the different riders. I like to do a lot of laps alone I like to find my rhythm, to understand where I am but if it is a weakness or that some of my mistakes have been when I’ve been with people, I feel like I’m getting rid of that a little bit, I feel I can manage the bike a lot better now. With the rear brake I can adapt more, change my line if I need to and not be under stress, I’m definitely improving with that.

“This weekend, in some sessions, I’ve been riding more with people knowing that I would have to in the race but I think its something that I can definitely put in the pocket and coming through the field like that it’s something that has got to give you confidence. Obviously we could feel like we’ve given a podium away this weekend but from the whole situation to get eight points, eighth place and come through it we’re going to take the positives.

“I managed to use this weekend in a good way. The bike was working great. The team did a fantastic job all weekend. We tried many different directions and put the best package together for the race. Thanks to them. Of course, we don’t go racing to finish in eighth but from pit lane that was good. It’s been a really positive weekend and I look forward to the next one and I’d like to fight for the win next week.


“I think this weekend I was strong, it was really nice to get pole because now I feel like I can have the confidence to do that one-off lap. I thought I could do a good lap yesterday, I was surprised by the lap time I did but I’ve obviously got to repeat that next weekend, start from the front and I’ll be in the battle.

“I think the guys were strong, the pace was really good, my pace was not far off and I had to make a lot of overtakes so I think I’m in the mix. If it stays like this I’ll be able to go with them and yeah, three Italians on the podium so hopefully I’ll try and spoil the party. Next Sunday I’ll be there.”

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