MotoGP Catalunya: ‘We’ll have to be smart with the tyres’ - Lowes

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Sam Lowes put his Elf Marc VDS machine on the second row in Saturday’s Moto2 qualifying at Barcelona.

A sixth place, in some of the most challenging conditions of the year and after midday changes left Lowes happy with the work done so far in his preparation for Sunday’s 22-lap Catalan GP but aware of the difficulties ahead.

Despite track temperatures reached a blistering 57ºC by the afternoon and grip levels around the 4.6km layout proving tricky, Lowes was in contention from the outset of Q2. Having already secured his place directly, at the back of a top ten covered by just 0.176s in FP3, changes to his Kalex left Lowes feeling more comfortable in the final action.

Starting Q2 on the provisional front row before dropping to fifth for the majority of the 15-minute session, the 31-year-old ultimately needed the day sixth, 0.367s off Celestino Vietti’s late charge to pole.

“I’m happy,” Lowes affirmed. “We made some changes this morning. I didn’t feel 100 per cent and for qualifying we went back in a good direction.

“The goal is always the front row but the second row is still good. It means we can fight for an important result tomorrow.

“I was really consistent in qualifying and I felt we made a step there. I’m still missing a bit in terms of track position. When times are so close, maybe I need to be a bit cleverer with where I am on track, rather than always being on my own.

“I’m happy with the work done and looking forward to the race. Tomorrow we’ll have to be smart with the tyres, and not overheat them in the early laps. Everyone will struggle a bit so it will be important to not overheat the front or rear tyre when we have the full tank of fuel. Whoever looks after the tyres best will be fighting for the podium at the end.”

Picture: GeeBee Images