MotoGP: Lowes ‘not focusing on final position’ at Sepang test

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Sam Lowes has come away from his first test of 2017 as a factory Gresini Aprilia racer delighted with his progress on the RS-GP machine despite finishing the time sheets last of the regular riders after three days testing.

The Brit instead concentrated on race pace and set-up, completing his first race run on the bike and learning more all while admitting that he could have gone faster if he had tried – but instead happy to walk away without setting a fast lap.


“Over the three days we reduced the gap behind the leaders significantly and that is important. We are working in the right direction. Everything is new for me, so I learn something new every lap! Among other things, I also did a race simulation, discovering how mentally and physically demanding it is to ride a MotoGP bike here at Sepang, but I am pleased with how it went.

“These tests were fundamental for me. We did not focus on our final position because that is certainly not our goal. We still have six days of testing before the race in Qatar and I think that if we maintain these levels of growth and concentration we will be ready.”

His sentiments were echoed by a delighted Aprilia racing boss Romano Albesiano, who echoed the sentiments of his new rider as well as praising the work done by Aleix Espargaró on the other side of the garage.

“From a technical point of view, I could not have asked for better in these tests, although we still have a lot of work to do before Qatar. The 2017 RS-GP confirmed the progress made compared with last year, both in terms of the chassis architecture and the engine, and we know how difficult it is to improve in a demanding category like MotoGP.

The work done by our two riders obviously followed very different paths, with equally positive results. Aleix, with his experience and speed, began development on the new bike and he has already demonstrated an excellent level in terms of performance, whereas Sam focused on improving his feeling and the riding style that these bikes demand. Even the team, which is comprised of a few new members, demonstrated great harmony straight away with all the mechanisms that will be fundamental throughout the season.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer