A bruising Saturday at Phillip Island found Britain’s Sam Lowes gritting his teeth after a heavy morning fall to secure 12th on the Moto2 grid.
The Elf Marc VDS rider was recovering well from his recent rehabilitation and back challenging with the intermediate class front runners in Australia before a high speed crash at the Hayshed five minutes before the end of FP3 brought his progress tumbling to a stop.
Initial fears that he had re-dislocated his already injured shoulder proved unfounded and Lowes dug deep for Q2 posting his fastest lap of the weekend by 0.8s - a 1’33.040 - to secure the fourth row start in Sunday’s race.
“It wasn’t too bad,” Lowes admitted on Saturday. “I enjoyed qualifying and felt quite good.
“The conditions have changed a lot this weekend. There was less wind in qualifying and this was good for me. I feel quite sore. I’m still recovering and then I had a strange crash this morning, when I wasn’t really pushing so my arm is not feeling that powerful.
“In qualifying it took me a while to get into it and I couldn’t use the full potential of the new tyre but overall, I’m quite happy. I was just a couple of tenths off the second row, which isn’t so bad considering how I’m feeling.
"We’re a lot more competitive this weekend than Thailand. I think we’ll go for the softer front tyre option tomorrow. We’ve done a lot of laps on it this weekend and the temperature is going to be quite fresh as well. We’ll try and manage with a full fuel tank in the early laps and then see.
“It’s hard to know what the race pace will be because we’ve been going faster in each session. Phillip Island always comes down to saving the tyre for the end. It’ll be physical but we’re looking forward to it!”