11 June 2015
Moto2 Catalunya: Sam Lowes boosted by test pace
“We've got to be braver and base our decisions on our data and not on what other people are doing" - Sam Lowes.
Still smarting from seeing what he believes was a real chance of victory slip away at Mugello, Sam Lowes arrives for this weekend's Catalunya round boosted by a recent test at Aragon.
“It was a really good test,” said the Speed Up rider. “For us it was the perfect test. It got hotter every day from 35 to 58 degrees. It was exactly what we needed. In the morning I was fast and did a 12 lap run in the 53s, which is faster than last year's pole time, but a lot of people have done those types of times in the morning sessions at Aragon because it's cooler.
“In the afternoon we put in a new shock, different internals to what we've used, and we found a little bit all the time with small set-up changes. We had new forks as well. We did a 22-lap run at the end of the day in about 52 degrees track temperature and every lap was in the '54s so that was good. Last year I qualified on a 54.9 and it wasn't that hot last year!"
Lowes knows he needs to turn such pace into race results, having been off the podium for the last three rounds.
“We've been making too many unforced errors over the last few races," said the Austin winner. "Maybe choosing the wrong tyre because it's what everyone else has been using. I've been making mistakes too because I lack experience and we've got to be braver and base our decisions on our data and not on what other people are doing.
“I should have won at Mugello. I had the best pace and I didn't win. We messed up on the tyre choice.”
Comparing his Speed Up with the Kalex bikes that dominate the Moto2 grid, Lowes explained: “My feeling is that we can get away with a softer tyre. If you look at our bikes after qualifying, their tyres look much more worn than mine. They are using the tyre more than us, which is why I can get away with a softer one.
“It's hard to get this bike working but when it is, it's better than anyone's. The other bikes, especially the Kalex, are much less rigid. It's not that they are better, but over 18 races it's always somewhere near at each track.
“They can also lean the bike down hard into the corners, but I don't have the front end feel. They make a 'U' shape through every corner and I make a 'V'. If I go slower in, I just make the V earlier. I've tried the rear brake and it's not helped. It's not a massive problem but we only need small things to be winning now.”
Lowes, who has claimed two poles and four front row starts this year, added: “I kept the first watch for pole. It's on the wall to remind me I can be fast! But I've told the guys in the team to put their names in a hat and each time I get another pole they get the watch.”
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