Sam Lowes believes tyre management will play a crucial role in Sunday's Moto2 encounter at Montmel? after qualifying in the middle of the second row.

The Englishman managed to save a spectacular near crash on his way to the fifth fastest time on Saturday afternoon, 0.43s back of Johann Zarco's pole position lap.

For Lowes, the Catalan track in Montmel? has been difficult to get to grips with, especially considering it's only his second year racing here.

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"The team has worked great all weekend. It's not a great track for us.
Obviously it's only my second time here. These guys have been on this track a lot. This is one of the tracks that I notice that. I feel like we did a good job in qualifying and we're not far away. The races are so fast this year so I'm happy to be close.

"I think the race will be tough for everybody. The tyres are dropping quite fast. You've got to be clever. If you go hard at the start you're not going to be there at the end. I could be proven wrong. If we get a good start, stay clean, dig in and see what happens.

"We've been close. The biggest problem for us this weekend is the tyre allocation is really hard. It really doesn't suit us at all because we normally run a softer tyre than the other guys. We're struggling a bit with that. It's better than what we thought so I think it can be good. It's only a different construction with a different amount of rubber. They're the same compound of rubber. It's really just what works for your bike. I used both in the afternoon."

When asked when he thinks tyres will drop off, he said, "At the minute it's before [midrace]. I did 20 laps this morning and did a good lap on lap 20 so maybe it wasn't too bad. If they're doing 46.0s then it's going to be working the tyres. I can't talk for Kalex but looking at the times Rabat's looking good. He'll be there. But we'll wait and see."

Speaking of his near fall that was captured on TV, Lowes said it was more 'luck than judgment' as to how he stayed on.

"I don't even know what happened. I put a new tyre in the front and it didn't work like we thought. I nearly crashed on my second lap and I wasn't even trying that hard. I was lucky really, it was more luck than judgment as to how I stayed on."