A slightly disappointed Sam Lowes continued his Algarve GP prep with a subdued Saturday after qualifying eighth at Portimao.
The Elf Marc VDS rider ran top six for the majority of the morning practice with consistent low 1’43, high-42 pace despite the strong winds as he completed his set up work, targeting confidence and feeling in the final phase of braking.
Struggling with the Dunlop soft tyre, his fastest qualifying lap left him eighth overall and in the middle of the third row for Sunday’s 23-lap contest but hunting for a podium come race day.
“I’m a bit disappointed to be on the third row but the race is tomorrow,” Lowes admitted on Saturday. “When I put the soft tyre in this morning at the end of FP3 I didn’t feel completely comfortable with the balance of the bike. I struggled to understand where I could push, and it is never good to qualify down in eighth place.
“I feel good with my race pace, and I still feel I can be strong. I still need to find a better way to stop the bike in the last part of the braking zone but I’m expecting to be competitive in the race. I certainly believe I have the pace for the podium tomorrow with the hard rear tyre and be strong in the last few laps.”