MotoGP Le Mans: Exceptional start for Lowes, improvements still to come

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Sam Lowes posted Friday’s fastest Moto2 time, a 1’36.307, at the legendary Le Mans track today as he geared up for Sunday’s FrenchGP.

The opening day was dominated by cool, cloudy and windy conditions, with the Brit proving so strong from the outset that only one other rider, KTM’s Raul Fernandez, was able to lap within 0.2s of his overall best. He did, however, have some competition from his Marc VDS teammate throughout Friday’s two 40-minute sessions as Augusto Fernandez looked to challenge him on a number of occasions before ultimately ending the day in third.

After completing a session-high 21-laps in the morning practice, Lowes ended FP1 third overall, with his best time of 1’37.678 less than a second off the race lap record, despite track temperature only reaching a chilly 11℃.

Delivering another commanding performance this afternoon, while simultaneously assessing the performance of Dunlop’s two rear tyre options, Lowes’ quickest effort, set on his 16th lap of 20, was less than 0.2s away from the Le Mans all-time lap record held by Pecco Bagnaia since 2018.

With rain predicted for Saturday, Lowes may well have already claimed his crucial spot in Q2 and is comfortable with the work done so far in preparation for Sunday’s 25-lap race.

“I’m really happy with how today has gone” an enthusiastic Lowes said from Le Mans this afternoon.

“The track wasn’t easy to understand this morning because there were still quite a few damp patches. I did a lot of laps because I wanted to understand where you could push in those circumstances because we know the race on Sunday could be in any condition.

“I did some good times on both tyre options this afternoon and that gives us some good information to look at tonight. I feel strong and happy with the job done. We can improve in the third sector but for day one, in difficult conditions, I’m happy and we can look forward to tomorrow.”