Lowes: Small mistake, big price

Sam Lowes is frustrated by a mistake that saw him leave Argentina with his first DNF of the year; aiming to bounce back in the USA.
Lowes: Small mistake, big price

A 'small mistake' carried a 'big price' for Sam Lowes last time out in Argentina, as the Englishman suffered his first DNF of 2019 due to an early crash at turn seven of the Moto2 race.

Lowes was in the running for the race win at the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit after a solid weekend earned a place on the front row of the grid.

After a mistake at turn one, Lowes recovered well to sit fifth, in the midst of the leading group. It appeared he was biding his time until the sixth lap, when a minor mistake at turn seven caused him to lose the front of his Federal Oil Gresini Kalex.

“[I’m] pissed off because I haven’t crashed in ages,” said Lowes soon after the race. “I haven’t crashed all testing, all Qatar, all race weekend at Qatar.

“I had the pace to be there. I didn’t quite feel as good the first laps, but now I’ve come back and watched the race. No one did.

“The pace was slow. Just did a small mistake, big price. Not like the past. I felt like we did a solid weekend again. Just really first mistake in a long time in a race. It’s painful. Maybe a bit wide.

“It’s one of them tracks, isn’t it? Go wide in Jerez it doesn’t matter because it’s happened. I messed up a little bit from my side, swapping too much between the front tyres, soft and hard. I went for the hard one in the race.

“I used the soft this morning. So I need to be a bit more… try and set up my tyre choice in warm-up and use that for the race, just so I’m in a bit more the mode. Both tyres were mint, so it’s nothing against them.

“[It was] Just the way of riding the bike with that tyre. Maybe with the soft you could release the brake a bit and it held it, whereas with this one it just went away. I did have a few little moments before that.

“But that’s experience. I’m there. When you compare it to the past, at least I’m talking about I was fifth position or whatever - fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh. I’m in the group. I’m not sixteenth or something.

“I’ve got the pace. I’ve got the pace at three or four different tracks now. I’ll go to Austin and just try and keep going. I love the team and the bike and everything. We just need to keep plugging along.”

On the weekend as a whole, Lowes was never outside the top three in all of Friday and Saturday’s sessions, feats he aims to build on at the Circuit of the Americas, the scene of his first grand prix win in 2015.

“[It was] Just solid,” he said. “I have literally only crashed this thing once in Jerez in turn six, like nothing, and once here. I’ve rode it a lot.

“Just three days into last year. Five days at the start of this year in Jerez. Three days in Qatar. It was small. I’m not making mistakes. I’m working on not too. It’s just one of them we need to keep focused and head to Austin.”