Alex Lowes put in some heroics on day one at Donington, scoring the fourth best lap time despite a recently injured and plated left collarbone.
Arriving in Donington he was down to be reviewed by the medical officials to be cleared to ride after Free Practice one. Lowes takes up the story of what is has been like for him to ride at Donington at all.
“I have been back to the medics twice and they are OK for me to ride,” said Lowes. “The left side was already my weak side anyway after a winter injury to my shoulder. It is complicated because where the plate has gone in the muscles are in trauma around it. Whether it has been five days or 15 days until it is all settles down, it is the same sort of problem. It has been eight days since I had my operation, so it is not that long. It feels quite tender and I do not know if it is mental thing, or the muscles are in a panic around it, but it has been quite hard work. Because I have been holding on more with my right side I have been getting tighter on my right side, so, basically, it is difficult. No painkillers today but on Saturday we will probably have to try them. If I have a chance of doing 23 laps of race one I am not going to be able to do it without them.”
It has been frustrating for Lowes as the whole Yamaha project appears to be hardening into a more consistently competitive place in the top places over the past few rounds.
“The bike is working well and I am riding it good, which is nice after the crash,” said Lowes. “But it is not going to be easy and we are not going to get a result that we probably deserve. The speed is the there and the bike feels fantastic. After some input at Imola we have made some biggish changes and we have been quite good there, and competitive in Sepang all weekend - at a track that is probably not the best for us. We are competitive again here at Donington. That has been on the same setting so it looks like we are starting to get a base setting, which is important for all the tracks. Imola, Malaysia and here are quite a lot different. We are ticking things off a list. It is just all the niggles; everything feels against you. I am doing the best I can and that is all you can do.”