Britain’s Sam Lowes has made some big changes to his setup after a successful Moto2 test at the Red Bull Ring and he believes it will stand him in good stead for this weekend’s clash at the Silverstone MotoGP round.
Lowes and the Federal Oils Gresini team have, by Lowes’ own admission, spent too much time making setup changes to the Triumph-engined Kalex and ‘chasing their arses’ trying to find the bike’s sweet spot.
But an alteration to fork angle and some new parts saw Lowes find a chunk of time at the Austria test - a track at which the Isle of Man resident has never gone well.
“Austria is always the worst track on the calendar for me. I got into a bad position in the race, you end up battling with those people, had a coming together, went off track and then the race was done when you’re that far back,” Lowes told bikesportnews.com while on daddy daycare duty.
“This weekend will be better. We had a good test after Austria, we tried some new parts and went back to a setup more like the start of the year when I was faster. We have been changing the bike way too much every weekend.
We were just getting lost, which is my mistake and the team’s mistake together. Now we have got a base setting and we will just ride it with a few clicks here and there. I don’t want to try and change the balance of the bike any more because we just don’t have time over a race weekend.
“It has been harder than I thought with the one-rider team. We had no base setting and that has caused us to chase our arse a lot. I’m riding a different bike every session, and when 0.3s makes a big difference, you can’t do that.
“You need to have a bike that works good and then polish it. There have been places this year where I have started the race three teeth shorter than I had run all weekend and you can’t do that in this class.”
Lowes will bring these new settings to Silverstone - a track that he says he loves and where he is usually fast - and employ them straightway to make the best of the first two days.
“We go on a three-day test and I’m always top five, but we aren’t making a good job over the race weekend. After Austria, we had a good sit down and decided to go back to something my and my crew chief think would work.
I ride differently to the other Kalex guys, they have the fork angle more open, but for my style, a narrower angle suits me - the other way has just not been working. It means instead of pushing the bike across the track, I can dig the front in and get it stopped and started better, which is more me.
“It was good to be fast at the Austria test because I am always shit there. Even in 2016 when I was full of confidence and fighting for the win at Silverstone the week after, I crashed out of 13th or something, it’s not a great place for me.
“The changes give me confidence going to Silverstone. It’s a place I love and I’m usually fast there.”