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MotoGP Portimao: Lowes ‘feeling strong and ready to fight’

Elf Marc VDS’ Sam Lowes is ready for his ninth Moto2 season as the opening round of 2023 prepares at Portimao this weekend.

With 135 Moto2 appearances in the intermediate class already under his belt, a now fully recovered Lowes is eager to make up for lost time after a Silverstone shoulder injury curtailed the majority of 2022’s closing races.

“Physically I feel great,” Lowes said after an intense winter. “It’s probably been my biggest physical preparation in the last five years because there was the rehabilitation and the process of regaining fitness that was long and constant since December. This is a big positive. 


“Mentally I feel refreshed. It’s really hard to sit at home and see people racing when you should be there. Last year’s races were difficult, but I realised how much I want to be here, how much I missed it and how much I have worked to be back at it.

“It took a few weeks to understand how bad the shoulder was and I was still struggling in December,” he admitted. “I worked a lot to get the strength and flexibility back. In the new year I went to Spain to do some riding and started to feel back to normal again. It’s been a big winter from the physical side but really positive and I am very happy to be feeling a lot better.

“When you’re in a race weekend with all the pressure and all the stress, sometimes you need to take a step back,” he continued, on the upside to his recent struggles. “When I wasn’t at the track or I came to the races and saw everybody on track, I realised you need to focus on what you’re doing and your plan over the weekend and not worry about everything else. That was important for me to see that. Don’t stress too much about external things and focus on myself. 

“I got refreshed and understood that if I do the job I can do, I will be in a good place.”

As 2023 prepares, the 32-year old will once again be led by hugely experienced crew chief Gilles Bigot, with data technician Adria Perez and mechanics Steven Bradley and Anthony Couturier completing his team for the 21-round season. 

“It’s going to be a very long one with many races,” Lowes said, looking ahead at the most demanding calendar to date. “I think it’s really important to focus on the long game. With a lot of races together at the end, I think it will be about being constant, get as many points as possible regularly, rather than just focus on a strong start.

“Every season, the goal is fighting for the Championship and to be at the front. I’ve been close to it a couple of times so the goal this year is to feel good back at the front and fight with the fastest.

“I trust my team a lot and I know our bike is capable of doing a good job. I feel refreshed, motivated and ready to go, so the goal is to fight every weekend for the Championship.

“My experience is something that I need to use to help me,” he continued. “My speed is also a strong point for me, especially for qualifying. This year we will have less track time and it will be important to find speed really quick to give as many good and fast laps possible. The plan is to enjoy it and use experience and speed to be there every Sunday afternoon.”

With testing only recently finished at the Algarve International circuit, the same track the paddock returns to for the inaugural round in just a couple of days, Lowes is feeling confident with his preseason preparation.

“I think everybody is now ready to get going and the most important thing for me in this first race is to have a solid weekend and pick up some important points,” he explained. “The package for 2023 with the new Triumph engine and Kalex chassis I feel is very strong and it gives me some margin to feel less on the limit.

“After the test last weekend I’m sure we are going to be in the mix and battling at the front and that will be the perfect way to get the ball rolling. It wasn’t an easy 2022 for me but I’m enjoying riding again and enjoying being able to show my potential in this great team.”

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