MotoGP Misano #2: Lowes focused on performance of new Dunlop rubber| Christina Bulpett | MotoGP
Buoyed by his stellar performance at last weekend’s Misano MotoGP, navigating from pitlane to finish eighth and just 16 seconds from the leader, Sam Lowes is confident of an equally strong showing as he returns to Italy’s Adriatic Coast for round eight of the Moto2 championship.
Enjoying a multitude of post-race celebrations earlier this week - the Briton shares his birthday with his 2-year-old daughter - the now 30-year-old is keen to focus on the task ahead with renewed confidence and optimism.
With conditions expected to remain much the same for the majority of the second visit to Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, tyres look to be the main point of focus, a softer Dunlop coming into the allocation for Sunday’s 25-lap culmination of this double header.
“I think, for me, this year we’ve been at enough tracks now to see it’s not just one style of track or one way of riding, we’ve been at a lot of different tracks and I’ve been fast, even in Austria, the result wasn’t great but I was fast everywhere so I feel good,” Lowes told bikesportnews.com.
“I feel like I’m slowly getting back to where I need to be or even better than the past, which is a real good thing for me. When I joined this team I said that I needed to get back to the front and just prove my worth and I feel like I’m doing that and now it’s time to make another step and seriously start thinking about winning races.
“Last week was good. I knew I had good pace. It’s hard to really compare because I obviously made a lot of overtakes in the race so I don’t know exactly the pace compared to the winner but I was there. I was there on the pace, I felt like could have definitely had a fight with the guys so my feeling is that this Sunday we can be in the mix.
“Okay, to say ‘you’re going to win’ or ‘you’re going to podium’, in the end you have to see what happens but I’m definitely going to be in the mix, I feel good on the bike and we have a nice base to start. The only difference is the tyres, we have a softer one, which could bring something, I don’t know but at the minute my feeling is we could be there and fighting to be on the podium.
This weekend is a little different, the tyres are a tiny bit different. Sometimes with the softer tyre in the rear, even if you have more weight, it can push more to the front because you have more grip so I really want to understand the tyre well.
“In the morning I’m going to use directly the soft to put laps on it, to understand the grip level, understand the bike and understand the drop of the tyre.
“For managing the bumps, at this track I set the bike with more weight balanced to the rear more than normal, and in the end it was quite acceptable.
“Normally with the soft tyre this would again push the weight back to the front with the grip so we need to try in the morning to understand how it is but it’s normally just in the first session. By the end of last weekend the bumps didn’t feel too bad so hopefully we can carry that on tomorrow morning.
“If everything was equal and the tyres were exactly the same then I would say that I can fight to win the race. The tyre is new but in the end it is new for everybody so then the situation should be the same and I can fight to win and aim for the podium.
“I feel good, I feel I’m slowly building a bit more confidence every weekend with good sessions and feel relaxed, so it’s time now to try and put a little bit extra in and get closer to winning a race again.”