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MotoGP Valencia #2: Heroic performance keeps Lowes' title hopes alive

Slightly more than 24 hours after injuring his right hand, Sam Lowes produced an incredibly courageous performance to score two crucial World Championship points in this afternoon’s Moto2 Valencia GP as he battled through the pain, and the mid-pack, to finish 14th.

Having used the warm-up session to test the condition of his hand, 30-year old Lowes had a steady start from 18th on the grid, initially dropping back to 21st and finding space on track in the early laps.

By lap 12, however, Lowes had found an impressive rhythm, consistently running lap-times similar to the leaders, setting personal bests lap-after-lap and allowing him to make progress as he overtook Thomas Luthi and teammate Augusto Fernández to come home in the points and just 15s behind eventual race-winner, Jorge Martin.


The two hard-fought points scored by Lowes today both met his expectations and kept his title hopes alive. Remaining second in the World Championship with 180 points, 14 behind leader Enea Bastianini, the Brit still has the potential to overhaul his Italian rival in next weekend’s season finale at Portimão, Portugal, with 25 still in play.

“In the end we were a tiny bit lucky because some guys crashed but that was me last week so that’s racing,” said Lowes.

“I dug deep. The first laps were difficult. I didn’t feel very agile on the bike so I couldn’t be really smooth but once I did a few more laps and the fuel level was a bit less, the bike was a bit lighter and I managed to just stay in the group.

“I have to say thank you to the Clinica and the team because honestly I’m struggling a lot with my hand, the crash yesterday was a big one and the team did a great job rebuilding the bike.

“It really was difficult, especially because the race was the first time all weekend we had a lot of wind and I couldn’t be smooth. The bike was moving a lot more and I was struggling with the hand but no excuses.

“Normally when your hand goes numb it’s a bad thing with a bike but today it started to numb off a bit and it helped me in the right-corners because it was the right-corners where I was struggling more. So in the last laps I could be a little more smooth in them. I just had to dig deep. I was trying to go forwards, I was with [Joe] Roberts and [Tetsuta] Nagashima but they had a little bit more pace than me but in the end it’s two points and I’m very proud of that result!

“We go to the last round of the championship with a chance. This is what we wanted from today. It could’ve been worse. We’ll just keep working hard.

“Of course I could have done with finishing last weekend and being healthy today but that’s racing! That’s how it goes! I had a really, really good run of podiums and wins and we know that racing is always really difficult to get it over the line. The guys are doing a better consistent job than me so I have to say well done to them but it’s not over.

“It’s not over and I have a chance going into next weekend. I feel happy to go there because it’s a track that I like and I’ve won there in Supersport.

“Tonight I’ll go into the city to get another scan on the hand because it’s a bit too big now than what it should be but hopefully everything is okay, it settles down, we can take the next few days to improve even more and then we can look forward to Portugal and do a great race next weekend.”

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