MotoGP Phillip Island: ‘Big step’ sees Lowes back in the top five

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Elf Marc VDS’ Sam Lowes claimed a top five start on Friday as preparations for the Moto2 Australian GP got underway.

With his recovery from shoulder injury progressing well, the 32-year-old was able to battle the elements and the demanding Phillip Island layout to produce a 1’34.544 on his penultimate revolution of the opening day.

Cold temperatures, strong winds and a mixture of sun and rain made for an unpredictable start to round 18 but with the track such a favourite, the Brit was quick to get to work. Eighth in FP1, Lowes continued to progress in the afternoon with a brief stint in second before he completed the day 0.777s shy of countryman Jake Dixon and fifth in the combined times.

“FP1 was just a case of getting up to speed with the track again and also understanding what we needed to improve for the second session,” Lowes explained. “My shoulder is definitely improving and that is a big bonus for me because this track is hard on your upper body.

“It’s made even more difficult with the strong winds because you have to fight to keep control of the bike but I feel really good and I’ve made another big step in the gap after Buriram.

“We gained a lot of good information in FP2 because we were able to experiment with a couple of different settings. Hopefully it is going to be dry tomorrow because we need to do more work assessing the best front tyre option.”