MotoGP: Lowes confident he'll be in the mix

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Sam Lowes says he’s confident that he can be in the mix at today’s British Grand Prix despite a poor qualifying position, thanks to the strength of the Aprilia RS-GP over race distance.

It hasn’t been an easy start to 2017 for Sam Lowes on the Aprilia project, as a rookie season waylaid by slow development, technical problems and crashes has meant that he hasn’t yet had the chance to make the impact he was hoping to on the MotoGP paddock.

But his hard work is slowly starting to pay off, and as he continually makes headway he’s confident that the combination of constant improvement and the home race effect means that Silverstone might mean that something special is in the bag.

“I think that we’ll be in a better position than we have been, which is a positive thing for me. I respect that the team have brought me up to the same level as Aleix, but after that it’s down to me. I want to be fast though. My goal is to try and get a top ten at Silverstone, and although that sounds far fetched I think I can do it.

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“I was running 15th at Sachsenring and my pace was quite solid, plus the bike has made a step, I’m always trying to make a step, and your home race is worth another step too. That’s my goal, that’s realistic, and I think if I could see ninth or tenth it would be fucking perfect, especially given my situation and as a rookie. Sure, I want to try and win, but it’s not always like that is it?”

And after the heartbreak of last year’s race – when a collision with Johann Zarco after a perfect weekend meant that he was denied the chance for a win, there’s even more motivation than ever before for him to put on a show for his supporters.

“Last year I put so much on that weekend, I was fastest every single session – it’s the only race in my career that I’ve ever had a plan for! I got knocked off, I got back on and I set the fastest lap of the race on the last lap, just to show what I was capable of. I’d nearly have rather won that weekend than won the championship, because I knew I was coming here and that it would be my last chance for a few years. I’ve got a score to settle.

“The fans were great, last year they were amazing, and the feeling I get on my slowing down laps is incredible. It means so much to me, and it’s really appreciated. It’s somewhere where you can pull something out of the bag, and I really want to, because when you do it’s the best feeling in the world.”

For all the reaction, news and extensive analysis from the 2017 British Grand Prix, pick up Wednesday’s issue of MCN

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer