MotoGP: ‘Strange’ opening weekend for Lowes

Published: 01 April 2017

Sam Lowes has admitted that his opening night in MotoGP was ‘a bit strange,’ after the rookie made his debut at a rain-delayed and confused Qatar Grand Prix that saw numerous delays hit the grid before they finally got going.

However, accomplishing his preseason goal of finishing his first race in the series, albeit in last place, the Gresini Racing Aprilia rider was nonetheless pleased to get the nerves out of the way with a solid opening performance.

“The weekend was a bit different, with the weather and then the race was on and off the grid – which was strange for my first MotoGP race. I was a bit nervous anyway but then to be on the grid, off the grid and not sure what was happening was a bit strange. But the race was ok! We had a few issues at the start of the race and lost touch with the group in front but the last few laps were quite ok.

“To be honest, just to finish the first race and understand more about the bike means we can take the positives from that. We didn’t show anywhere near our potential, so overall it wasn’t a fantastic race, but I learnt a lot. It’s difficult after a long winter to go to the first race and everyone wants to do a good job, so it was important to finish and not make mistakes. Argentina should be a more normal weekend, and we’ll make quite a big step because our potential is a lot more than what we showed in Qatar.”

And with teammate Aleix Espargaró taking a stunning top six result only inches from the Repsol Hondas of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, Lowes says that he knows what the potential of the bike is as he continues to learn how to ride in the premiere class.

“Aleix did a great job and I think the balance in the team is quite good.  We need a couple of races to understand where I can be at, because after the first race I didn’t show where we are. So I’m really positive, and I think Aprilia have done a great job. It’s really important for the team to have a strong result early in the season to reward everyone’s hard work. I’m looking forward to Argentina. This year will be a good year for Aprilia - and I think they’ll show their full potential by the end of the season.”

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