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Qatar Moto2: Swingarm chatter caused Sam Lowes fall

"For me it was nearly impossible to ride” - Sam Lowes.
A fall in second practice meant Moto2 rookie Sam Lowes was left 25th overall at the end of the opening night in Qatar.

The reigning World Supersport champion was the only rider not to improve his time during the second session, after starting the evening in 13th place and one-second from the top on his Speed Up machine.

However a change of swingarm for FP2 brought increased chatter that caused his early session spill.

"The first session was really good with a chassis and swingarm that I know and then in FP2 we changed the swingarm and it chattered a lot," commented Lowes. "For me it was nearly impossible to ride. It is quite a big change so we couldn't [change it back] in the session and it was a bit frustrating because it felt like I was just riding around in the end.

“I wanted to do some laps because this is a new track for me. This morning was really good and I still feel good on the bike and I am quite happy with my wrist, so tomorrow when we get the good swingarm in I'm still confident.

“It's a long weekend and after the first session I've already shown I can do quite well, so I'm quite happy.”

Explaining the fall Lowes said that the chatter from the swingarm pushed him wide at the final corner and with so much dust offline it was difficult to avoid the crash.

“On my second lap I crashed. On the data I was actually slower than in FP1 and it started chattering at the last corner and I couldn't hold the normal line and I went a bit wide and this place isn't too good off line!"

The new swingarm may have had considerably more chatter but with the Speed Up team developing a new chassis Lowes admitted that it was important to get as much data as possible.

“I've never experienced chatter like that in my life and if I tried to run through the corner with any speed or lean angle I would just chatter my brains out. Sometimes you try things and it doesn't work out but at least now we know how it affects the bike and we can be back to improving the bike.

“One of the good things is that Speed Up are behind me and I'll have another chassis coming soon, maybe for Jerez, and with the data from the new swingarm adds to that. The fact it was bad this time is just one of those things. I've got a new chassis here that I used at the last test in Jerez and it is a lot better. I'm frustrated but it's only practice."

Referring to the recent tendonitis in his wrist, Lowes said that it was little problem while on the bike but once the adrenaline wore off it was causing some discomfort.

“When I am on the bike, I have so much to learn with a new track and everything, I'd be lying if I said I could feel it and it's a little bit sore now once I stopped. I just need to rest but obviously at a race I can't. The second session was an absolute disaster but it's all track time.”

Having made the move from WSS, Lowes also commented on the difference between the two classes and how both 600cc bikes compare on track.

"It's very different because in WSS you attack the corners very differently because of the electronics that you have and the tyres. The electronics on the Yamaha last year I could just attack the corner and stop the bike and then fire it out so it's a bit more like a Superbike. Here I have to slow it down a little bit and run through the corner. I've so much to learn but I'm happy to be here."

Tagged as: moto2 , lowes

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