Spurred on by two podium finishes in the past three races, Sam Lowes is confident of maining his fine run of form in the penultimate Moto2 encounter of the year in Sepang.
Lowes was a consistent presence in the top three throughout free practice and qualifying in Phillip Island, pace he carrier through to Sunday's race as he claimed an excellent second place, his best result since he triumphed in Texas.
Heading to Sepang, a track at which he struggled in 2014, Lowes feels an open-minded approach could result in another strong result.
“Last year was really, really bad,” he said at Phillip Island. “Lots of us struggled with chatter but we had the carbon swingarm then. We'll go there with an open mind. Last year was my first time there. It would be nice to go there and do something. I don't think I'll be as strong as I was here.
“There have been tracks this year that I was sh*t at last year and have been good this time around. So I'll try and do a good job there. We're doing a solid job this year and I know what I need to improve next year. I think we've got a chance of winning the next two races. If I had done my maximum in Phillip Island it would have been close.”
Speaking of Sunday's race, Lowes was content to come home second and acknowledged that race winner Alex Rins had a superior pace. Still, a small gearing modification before the race meant he was losing seven to eighth kph along the front straight to his rivals.
“We made some changes from the warm-up. Some were good, some not so good. We changed the gearing and it was the wrong one. You could see when Rins came past me at the start. He was seven of eight kph faster. I've not been that slow all weekend. That was a little bit of a shame but I wouldn't have beaten him anyway. His pace was really strong, I just might have been closer.
“It's a shame for Luthi but he looked to be struggling a little bit and I came back to him. For me it was good. I'm looking forward to the last few races because that's a podium in Aragon. An improved performance in the rain in Motegi, where I actually finished, which is an improvement for me. If it was dry there we would have been fast. Then a podium here so if we could finish with a few more it'd be a great finish.”
Lowes went on to explain he had issues with Dunlop tyres through the weekend, with one in particular even going flat in a similar to fashion to podium contender Jonas Fogler's rear race rubber.
As he was touching the rev limiter in some places, it was important to do everything to conserve the rubber around the punishing Phillip Island layout.
“The wind was different to yesterday. In morning warm-up I was just touching the limiter in sixth [gear] on my own. The speed wasn't bad. We knew Rins was fast so chances were I wouldn't be on my own in the race if I had the pace. It was probably the correct decision but the way the race was – it was quite spread out – it didn't help me really.
“We had a few issues with tyres through the weekend. When you're on the limiter in somewhere like the Hayshed and you're touching the limiter it doesn't help the tyres. We had to do everything we could to help it. We didn't quite do out maximum but maybe if I had gone shorter and rode more aggressive we might not have finished the race. I had tyres go flat like Folger had this weekend so we had to do what we had to do.”