MotoGP Silverstone: Alex Lowes impresses on first day

| | MotoGP
Lowes is only 2.4s off the pace on his first day of MotoGP
Lowes is only 2.4s off the pace on his first day of MotoGP Picture: Bonnie Lane

Britain’s Alex Lowes has impressed on his first day at work in the MotoGP paddock, ending only 2.4s behind fastest man Andrea Iannone at Silverstone with only 40 laps on the board and beating both former Moto2 champion Tito Rabat and Grand Prix vetern Alvaro Bautista.

Lowes bounced back well from a cold-tyre crash while on an out lap at the end of this morning first session and found more than two seconds in terms of pace over lunch. The Derby-based rider ended free practice one on a 2’06.225 which he cut to a 2’03.855. But he stresses there is still an awful lot to learn before raceday.

“I still have a lot to learn, obviously everything is quite new. It has been a little difficult because I think with these tyres, tif he temperatures are not high it’s tougher but it was not a bad. I am learning every lap, we didn’t change the bike too much, I just rode to understand the tyres, the bike and everything that was new,” said Lowes, speaking at the track.

“The second session was better, we improved a lot and I think we can do a bit more. We kept the same tyre in all afternoon and I get a better feeling on the end when it was used.”

Lowes has stated he is using team-mate Pol Espargaro as a benchmark for this weekend and will study data this evening to see where he needs to improve.

“I am a little bit worse on corners that have a long radius where you have to play with the throttle more and that part of the riding is a lot better than I am used to. I need to change my body position, not move the bike so much whereas what I am used to, if you don’t move the bike won’t turn,” Lowes added.

“The gap wasn’t too bad. Pol put in a new tyre at the end of the session, but before then it was ok. I think the gap on my first day is pretty good after ony doing 42 laps on a MotoGP bike. I don’t feel like I am riding too well, as I said I have a lot to learn.

“I haven’t looked at any data yet as I wanted to ride the bike naturally and to see where I was ok and where I was going wrong without trying to ride like this or that. I think that would have made things more difficult but tonight I am going to have a look. I have a good idea where I am slow and need to improve.”

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Lowes bounced straight back from his cold-tyre crash this morning
Lowes bounced straight back from his cold-tyre crash this morning Picture: Bonnie Lane