MotoGP Catalunya: Lowes looking for stability but happy with pace

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Elf Marc VDS Racing’s Sam Lowes was straight out the blocks on Friday morning, setting the fourth fastest Moto2 lap of at Barcelona.

Lowes wasted no time in finding his confidence and speed at the 4.6km Montmelo track with a 1’44.575 set on only his fifth lap of the day placing him narrowly behind countryman Jake Dixon at the close of FP1.

The strategy was well placed with the early pace curtailed in the afternoon session as scorching temperatures saw the track rocket to a grip-reducing 54℃. The 31-year-old opted to work on race set-up ahead of Sunday’s 22-lap encounter for FP2 with his combined efforts seeing him safely in contention for Q2, just 0.125s off Aron Canet’s overall target.

“I feel like we’ve had a strong first day here and we were able to work on a few things that helped me find a fast pace,” Lowes said from Barcelona. “It was extremely hot this afternoon but that gave us the opportunity to work on the front tyre to see how it works in those high temperatures.

“I felt strong and I’m sure I’d have been in the top four again this afternoon but lost my best lap. For an outright fast lap we need a bit more stability but in terms of my race pace I’m happy with the balance of the bike.

“We know we can make another step tomorrow and we’ll work to be fast and consistent here. Consistency in these conditions is so important and I’m happy with the work we’ve done on used tyres. Qualifying inside the top six will be key because I think we have the potential to fight for the podium.”