Damage control for Lowes in Mugello

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Sam Lowes has ran an exercise in damage limitation at Mugello to wrestle control of the championship race back to himself fro main rival Alex Rins, after a chaotic Moto2 race saw him lose his chances at victory but saving the weekend with third.

Clearly one of the fastest of the pack in the first laps of the race, Lowes had been able to comfortably control the race up until a crash from Xavi Vierge deflated the trackside air fencing and brought out the red flags.

And, running the hard Dunlop option after failing to come to grips with the softer option over the weekend, Lowes was left struggling in the ten-lap restart. Set up for a longer race distance, he wasn’t able to mix it for the sprint race – and suffered as a consequence.

“In the last ten laps, I was really struggling, which is frustrating. In the first start, I could do anything with the bike – I was passing everyone, felt amazing. But we were on the hard tyre, and over ten laps it’s hard to make a difference on a hard tyre.

“When I needed to makes passes I could, but it was risking a lot to do it. It’s frustrating, and over a long distance it would have been really good, but to get on the podium is still good.”

Compounding that problem was that Lowes left himself with work to do after a bad start – something saved only by a back of the grid penalty for many of his rivals.

“In a ten lap Moto2 race with all these guys is always going to be difficult, and you’ve got to put yourself in a good position. I got a bad start, and it just wasn’t a perfect ten laps, which is a shame!”

The race’s original restart was abandoned after confusion among the teams over MotoGP’s new quick-start procedures left them unable to make the grid in time.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer