A downcast Sam Lowes was at a loss to explain his fall in the Malaysian Moto2 encounter at Sepang, and admitted “it's just not going my way” after a tough succession of flyaway races.
The Englishman arrived in Japan with some fresh momentum, after a win at Aragon reignited his faint championship hopes. Yet a series of incidents contributed to three falls out of as many races, a run that left the Englishman extremely frustrated.
“It's just not going my way at the minute,” said Lowes after a fall out of the wet Sepang race on the second lap.
“It was them conditions. I lost the front, but I wasn't going in that hot. I was trying to go with the flow. Didn't try and make any positions, just tried to go with the flow. I had to, obviously, rather than push - and it still didn't work out for me.
“It was greasy. Me and [Mattia] Pasini crashed at the same time in different incidents. So I don't know. It was just the change over the track as it was coming drier after. Maybe that was the mistake, not pushing hard enough. I definitely wasn't over-pushing because there was people around me passing me.”
The Sepang fall was Lowes' fifth non-score in six races. It was the first of those, he explained, at his home race in Silverstone after a controversial collision with world champion Johann Zarco, that had a lingering effect at Misano, a week later.
“It's all been since Silverstone. Obviously it didn't feel particularly like it affected me. I went to Misano and crashed because I got maybe nervous in the race because of the Zarco situation.
“That was a bit strange because I'm not really that much against him person. I think he's all right. I was just disappointed in that. I put a lot of effort, a lot of heart into that weekend at Silverstone. I felt like I had the perfect plan to do the job, and I did.
“Then I think it hit me when I went to Misano. Then Aragon I won, felt great, thought okay, 'I've turned it around'. I Went to Japan. Again I got in a battle with Zarco, just tucked the front, hit a bump. If I wouldn't have done that it would have been a great race. I went to Phillip Island, disaster. I banged my head in the first session, maybe a little bit not with it, but strange conditions.
“I then had a massive crash in warm-up, and a strange crash in warm-up. The bike was bent in the race. We had to move down the bars a little on the grid, little things. Then you collide with somebody because you're further back in the field.
“It's very frustrating really. People give me a lot of s**t but I know that, I accept that. It's obvious that I need to crash less. That's not news to me. Sometimes these three races, they feel close together when it's going s**t.
“I'm still here. No one's dead. It's not the end of the world. I can't win the championship, but I knew that at Silverstone basically. Actually with the way it's panned out I probably could have done good at the end. But that's easy to say after. A lot of these guys have got more experience than me. They've been here longer than me.”
Lowes now heads to Valencia for his final race in the intermediate category after three seasons in the class. Beyond that, two years in MotoGP aboard a rapidly improving factory Aprilia beckons.
Accepting the criticism that has come his way in recent weeks, Lowes is looking at some of the negative feedback to add further motivation ahead of his step up the premier class.
“Maybe they're not happy but at the end of the day I've won two races and I've had six pole positions. I'm a fast rider. I think it's good for them. They've got Aleix, they've got me. It's hard to not look at that, hard not to look at the criticism. At the end of the day, I'll prove people wrong.
“That's something that's motivated me a lot in my career, and even more so next year. It's actually really nice. I like to have that. I like to have people saying that because the people are only telling me things that I know. I'm not come from the same background as all these guys.”