Few sights on Saturday were as spectacular as Sam Lowes sliding his way to a second Moto2 pole position of 2016 at Jerez, and the current championship leader believes that, with a good start, 'can get in a rhythm and go.'
The Englishman cut a relaxed figure after the qualifying press conference having set a scorching pace throughout the weekend. As championship rivals Alex Rins (seventh) and Johann Zarco (16th) were uncharacteristically off the lead pace in several sessions, Lowes stated he felt “fast, strong and confident” ahead of Sunday's race.
“I had a lot of confidence coming into this weekend after the test,” said the 25-year old. “It's important to come here as championship leader to be fast, strong and confident. I feel good. Tomorrow I think Rins will be there. For Zarco it will be difficult. To come from 15th is not easy in Moto2, especially because his pace isn't that good. I think Rins will be fighting at the front. Zarco I'm not sure. This is good for me, so we'll see what happens tomorrow.
“Every time I go out on track I'm on my own. I never follow anyone. I feel really relaxed. Tomorrow, it's the first time year, that I think if I get a good start I can get into a rhythm and go. I don't think many guys can stay there. Maybe Jonas can. But the other guys I'm not sure.”
After testing several new parts from Ohlins, including new front forks and a different shock through free practice, Lowes had reason to feel confident, as only Jonas Folger could run a similar pace.
“We worked hard. Ohlins has pushed really hard. We've got some new parts this weekend, completely new forks. That's really nice they're working hard. Rins and Zarco are on WP, I'm on Ohlins. It's nice to have that support, something that I've missed in the past.”
“In the test I made 33 laps with the [Dunlop] '0' [option tyre] and it was working good. In the race it will be no problem. If you look at qualifying my best laps were the sixth, seventh and eighth, not my first. That's good for the race.
“When I lose a little grip in the rear I can turn the bike more in the faster corners. That's what helps in sectors three and four. Hopefully I can make a good start. There can potentially be two or three guys there but I don't think it will be a big group. That's always nice in Jerez, to not have ten guys behind you!”