Qatar Moto2: Lowes continues domination in Moto2
Sam Lowes has continued his domination of the opening weekend of the Moto2 World Championship, trading blows with Johann Zarco before getting the better of the French rider to finish 0.136 clear of him at the chequered flag with Tito Rabat posting a late lap to finish within 0.5s of Lowes.
The Brit continued to be the only Speed Up machine in a sea of Kalex bikes under the Qatari floodlights, with the next other machine the Tech 3 bike of Louis Rossi in 14th. Lowes pace throughout the weekend has seen him clearly the fastest and most consistent rider, he has had more sub 2m00.5s laps than anyone else and the fight for the win clearly looks set to be between the top three in today's session.
For Lowes this was once again confirmation of his progress over the winter. The Speed Up rider has topped all three sessions here this weekend and being able to validate his testing pace was clearly important to him:
"I'm feeling good and the team are working well," said Lowes. "We've arrived here to a track that I shouldn't be good at, I've not done a lot of running here before, so it's really positive. We've gone quicker at each track compared to last year in testing and that's been the same here as well so hopefully we'll keep that running. Last year I started to lose my confidence and it's very hard to come back from that during the season. Now I'm fitter and I feel so good, we've made changes in the team and I'm so much happier and everything has come good."
Defending champion Tito Rabat was third, a further 0.3 back on Zarco, while Sandro Cortese led the second row from Axel Pons and Jonas Folger.