MotoGP Misano #2: Perfect practice leaves Lowes ‘in the mix’

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Last weekend’s Moto2 pole sitter, Sam Lowes, returned to Misano full of confidence after his stunning eighth place in the San Marino Grand Prix.

Swift from the very start of Friday morning, with both free practice sessions held in perfect conditions, Lowes posted the third fastest time in FP1 and continued to match the increase in pace around him, concluding the day with fourth overall.

A second race weekend in two weeks at the Rimini circuit provided the opportunity for an alternate workload for the Marc VDS rider ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, as a softer Dunlop rear tyre came into play within their allocation.

The Briton, who turned 30 on Monday, spent the morning assessing the newest tyre option and the afternoon on the hard, choosing not to make changes to his set-up so he could assess the tyre options accurately.

After another solid performance in FP2 where he spent the full session on the same hard rear tyre, his now favoured option for Sunday’s race, Lowes improved his best lap time by 0.3s from FP1 to FP2, posting 20 laps across two runs.

His fastest time of 1’36.161 good enough for fourth in the combined standings, just two tenths slower than overall leader and lap-record-holder Luca Marini.

“A very good day from the pace side. We improved a lot in the afternoon. We only used the hard tyre and we kept the same tyre in for all of the session and it was very good,” said Lowes.

“Regarding the new soft tyre that Dunlop brought for this weekend, it could be good for tomorrow and good for qualifying and a quick lap time but for the race we are looking at the harder one because my rhythm was really good with it.

“I think the grid will be 50/50. Some guys will use the softer rear, others will use the harder. Overall, I’m very happy. It was another solid day and we’re in the mix.”