Sam Lowes has admitted he couldn't find a rhythm throughout his first MotoGP weekend, that ended with a finish outside the points, but feels his pace in the closing laps was a positive he can take to Argentina.
The lack of track time caused by Saturday's biblical downpour was a nuisance for the Englishman, who only had enjoyed five days on Aprilia's 2017 RS-GP before then. The delays on the start grid and a dirty track surface lacking grip also didn't help, Lowes said.
After running off track early in the race, Lowes found himself behind the two KTMs, but it was his final two laps of the race – the second of which was his fastest of the 20 completed – that allowed him to take positives from the first round.
“It was difficult,” said Lowes, who finished the race 18th, “because I ran off the track a couple of times so I lost the position.
“The only positive thing is that in the last three or four laps I was as fast as a couple of people in front. But the balance of the bike changed a lot over the race and that was really important.
"It brought us into a window where the bike was working, which was really important. At the start of the race the bike was outside that. If we can use that information for the next race then [that will be positive].
“I'm really upset and not happy with the result but I finished the race,” he said.
“It was a really strange weekend, you know? I could never find a rhythm. I had one day not riding the bike. Then this morning [afternoon] we were riding in daylight. We were on the grid then off the grid.
“I think also because I've had a few crashes, I didn't want to make any silly mistakes. It's important for me to finish every race.”
Although the result wasn't what he had hoped for, the 26-year old offered his congratulations to team-mate Aleix Espargaro, who equaled the Noale factory's best result in the four-stroke MotoGP era.
“It's important for me to start like this and I'm really happy for the team. Aleix did a good job. I think also we can take some positives from the last few laps and finishing the race. We'll move onto Argentina.”
Cal Crutchlow - Career Profile by Crash_net