Sam Lowes has credited MotoGP’s new Michelin tyres with giving more grip to Qatar’s Losail circuit – despite being on the Dunlop-shod Federal Oil Kalex Moto2 machine!
Taking to the track for the first time last night alongside the MotoGP machines, who have tested separately up until now, the Brit says that the added rubber on track has changed the nature of the track for the better – despite two crashes during last night’s two sessions.
“My first crash was strange, but the second one was just pushing a bit and went down. I got caught out though, because now the MotoGP boys have been out and the track has changed a lot. On corner entry, there’s the same grip as the test, but on corner exit, it’s like I’ve got a qualifying tyre in!
“So you push more, I’m backing in so much more, and when I crashed I was on the lock stop and it straightened itself out. I knew twenty minute before I went down I was going to crash! If I’d been on line, maybe I could have saved it, but here, once you go an inch off line, it’s so dirty I couldn’t get away with it.
“The first crash was strange – three ks slower than the lap before, on the same line on the GPS trace, throttle position within a millimetre, and I don’t really know what I did wrong. I just fell over!”
However, despite the tumbles, Lowes is still ultra-confident ahead of Sunday’s opening race. Setting consistently fast times despite using only one rear tyre and two fronts for the entire night, the Lincolnshire rider sounds ready to go racing already.
“My rear tyre has had two crashes on it, and I still did my fastest lap after 22 laps, is I’m obviously not far away! I’m disappointed because people get on at me about crashing, and I crashed twice on the first night, which isn’t great – but I haven’t been crashing. It’s a blip. Maybe I was a little bit nervous, but now I feel so relaxed – and I was second in both sessions so it wasn’t a disaster!”