MotoGP Assen: ‘When I’m feeling good, I know how to ride here’ - Lowes

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Elf Marc VDS’ Sam Lowes scored his sixth front row of the season with a third place in Assen TT qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

While Friday’s rain had subsided, late afternoon cloud hinted at a return before the Moto2 class enjoyed a clear run for the intensely matched final shootout. Less than half a second covered the top 13 riders while a mere three-hundredths of a second separated Lowes from fellow Brit Jake Dixon in the battle for pole position.

Lowes had endured a nervous wait in the final free practice after a crash at the halfway stage prevented him from returning to the track. His earlier 1’37.611 lap securing 12th and direct entry into Q2 by the close of the 40-minute session despite struggling with a lack of rear grip. Crucial set-up changes undertaken ahead of the late afternoon qualifying, provided the 31-year-old with the tools he needed to fully challenge as the successful day came to a close with a 1’36.767.

“This is a good track for me,” Lowes confirmed from Parc Fermé. “When I’m feeling good, I know how to ride around here.

“This weekend I didn’t have that rhythm and couldn’t ride like I wanted to ride. We changed some things for qualifying. I calmed down a bit in the braking zones and the team gave me a package that I could ride how I wanted. A big thank you to them.

“Qualifying is so tight in this class so if you can start on the front row, you’re always in the mix for the race. I feel like I have the experience to get a good result tomorrow. That feeling I had in qualifying to do good laps at the end, I can take into the race.

“Going off previous years, the last eight laps here are key. There are probably eight riders that can be in the group early on but that will spread out toward the end. I just need to keep the rhythm, not make mistakes and not use too much of the tyre.

“I believe the key is to stay in the group in the first half and then be there to use the grip and pace at the end.”

Picture: GeeBee Images
Picture: GeeBee Images