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MotoGP Portimao: Lowes expecting 'tight race’ from ninth

Elf Marc VDS’ Sam Lowes will start the first Moto2 race of 2023 from ninth position on the Portuguese GP grid.

Having shown steady top ten pace across the opening weekend’s practice sessions, Lowes secured direct promotion to Q2 on Saturday afternoon.

The British rider then put together a strong, consistent nine-lap run in qualifying, setting his best time - a 1’42.942 - on the seventh revolution placing him ninth overall. The third row start for Sunday’s 21 laps race is Sam’s best qualifying performance since last June’s Dutch TT.


“Of course, I wanted to be on the front two rows so I’m not really happy with ninth but I didn’t put a great lap together,” Lowes admitted on Saturday evening. “I know there are a few areas where I need to improve but the pace is good.

“I enjoyed the session. The higher temperature maybe caught us out and my feeling wasn’t great, I had this floating feeling with the rear.

“We should’ve been in the top six but I still feel I can do a good job in the race.

“It’s all in there. I’ve worked well on used tyres all weekend but we’re still missing a bit on new rubber. It’ll be a tight race. A lot of guys have good pace but there’s no reason why we can’t think about a podium. We’ll have a good sleep tonight and get stuck in tomorrow.”

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