Cal Crutchlow is adamant that rookie countryman Sam Lowes should be given more time to show what he can do in MotoGP.

At Catalunya, round 7 of 18, Aprilia confirmed rumours that Lowes is in serious danger of losing his seat unless he can 'quickly show some improvement'.

By the summer break the Englishman had finished in the points just once (14th), but gave a reminder of his talents by reaching Qualifying 2 in wet conditions at Assen, only for his engine to dramatically expire.

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It wasn't the first time Lowes has been hindered by technical issues and the former World Supersport champion is also thought to be on an older specification RS-GP than veteran team-mate Aleix Espargaro.

"Sam hasn't had a fair crack of the whip, that's for sure," Crutchlow said at Assen. "He's sat in the garage more times than he's been on track most of the year. He's had a lot of mechanical issues and stuff that's not his fault and he's not been able to prove himself as such, I don't think."

Adding to the pressure on Lowes is that former Moto2 rivals Johann Zarco (and now Jonas Folger) have each taken a podium for Tech 3 Yamaha, while Alex Rins scored a ninth place for Suzuki before his Austin injury.

Not a fair comparison, according to Crutchlow.

"I understand where Aprilia are coming from as well, but if they are looking at Zarco and Rins they are looking at the wrong situation," Crutchlow said. "The thing that Zarco is on, you have no idea how easy that thing is to ride. And you have no idea if you put Zarco on an Aprilia or Honda where he'd be. He would not be anywhere near where he is now, that is sure. He's a good rider, don't get me wrong. So you can't really look at that and compare and I think Sam will get a lot better. He just needs time."

Crutchlow, a double MotoGP race winner last season, also pointed to his own early struggles after switching from World Superbike in 2011.

"What he's doing with the bike is not completely wrong, but it's wrong. It's exactly how I rode when I first came here and look where I finished. I was shit. Then look at what I managed to do over the years after," explained the LCR rider, a podium finisher on Yamaha, Ducati and Honda machinery.

"I had arguments with Herve [Poncharal, Tech 3 boss] the first year I came here. I wanted to leave and go back to World Superbike. Herve was the one that told me I just needed time, to stay and tried to calm me down. And the next year I was fourth at the first race and got two podiums.

"It's just the way it is. You need to gain experience and improve. But they need to give Sam time to do that, definitely.

"The problem is now people compare riders that come into the championship against Marc when he was a rookie. You can't do that. You've no idea what Marc can do with the bike. I see it day-in, day-out because I see the data. And you can't compare with someone on a different bike - like Zarco or Rins, if we are talking about Sam. I think they [Aprilia] just need to give him time and he'll be strong, and if by the end of next year he is not...

"If you put Marc on that bike now it'd be on the podium, guaranteed. So why don't they put pressure on Aleix? I know Aleix has been the first guy to back Sam up and I'm not criticising Aleix, I'm criticising [Aprilia].

"Aleix and Sam are both good riders and I think they both deserve to be in the team."

Nonetheless, will Lowes get the chance to stay? The number of riders admitting to talks with Aprilia suggesting the factory is determined to find a new team-mate for Espargaro.

The Spaniard is 14th in the world championship, with 32 points.

By Peter McLaren

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More podiums Cal and less talking. Look at yourself, not at others. Starts to sound like a whining grandmother. The Jerries and the Frogs have it easy on those Jap bikes. Our boys are having a hard time, boohoohoo. And Marc... Had I been 40 years younger I'd defnitely snog him on the beach of Benidorm...

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Challenger: MotoGP Crutchlow: 'Give Lowes time to prove himself'

It would be nice if Sam would prove that he can go a season without going into double figures with the crash rate. Technical issues or not no experience or feedback can be gained spending so much time in the gravel and this is not an "Aprilia aren't supporting Sam" issue either. You onty have to look at the brother who competes in an entirely different championship on an entirely different bike to know that the Lowes twins are resoundingly good at crashing bikes.

The Lowes twins have had plenty of time/oppurtunity at world championship level to prove themselves worthy - I think times a running out for both of them.[\blockquote]

I think that's a bit unfair on Alex. He's crashed a lot less this year, picked up a few podiums and is 5th in the WSBK standings behind the Kawasaki's & Ducati's.

Sam, has started crashing a lot more since his team started putting pressure on him.

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This is an old story, Cal made these comments several rounds ago.

I guess the summer break is pretty dry for news.

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Aprilia openly saying this early in the season that they are looking elsewhere is very unprofessional.
they also need to get their act together, they are a works team, act like it.
having a bike fail to start as quali starts and not even having the 2nd bike ready also is very damming on them. they are acting like a private low funded team and not a well funded official Aprilla works team.

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Cal says "Zarco would be no where near where he is now if you put him on an Aprillia", ok right, that bike is a mess but why does he include Honda too in this list too?
He can't let any chance slip away to explain what a tough bike he is riding? he wants us to say, "Ok, cal is a better rider but Zarco is beating cal because tech3 M1 is an easy bike"

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'Challenger
JULY 12, 2017 7:32 AM

MotoGP Crutchlow: 'Give Lowes time to prove himself' It would be nice if Sam would prove that he can go a season without going into double figures with the crash rate. Technical issues or not no experience or feedback can be gained spending so much time in the gravel and this is not an "Aprilia aren't supporting Sam" issue either. You onty have to look at the brother who competes in an entirely different championship on an entirely different bike to know that the Lowes twins are resoundingly good at crashing bikes. The Lowes twins have had plenty of time/oppurtunity at world championship level to prove themselves worthy - I think times a running out for both of them.''

- I remember Carlos Checa crashed 22 times in one moto gp season and he went on to win gp's, the Suzuka 8hrs. and become WSBK Champion also how many times has Marquez binned it in practice, qualifying and races ? Give him a chance - for once I agree with Crutchlow.

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Lowes is slower than the guys last year. Bike and tires are faster. Lowes far slower than Espargaro. Lowes has crashed out almost half of the races. He has had what 18? crashes this season. Looking at hes performance and that crash pile, I think Aprilia could buy pretty fast rider on hes seat. And the crying Im 3 iterations behind Espargaro was already debunked, he has almost the same machine than Espargaro. Also how can you think he is not going to sit in garage when he keeps destroying those bikes every weekend? Crash bill on those bikes must be taller than Crutchlow. Sam has had test after test if you compare to someone like Guintoli. Suzuki is having worse results than Aprilia and still Guintoli could beat Lowes on races. It was something like 8 seconds and he hasnt had the change to test and test and test. There is a lot of fast guys in moto2 and Wsbk just waiting the change...

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The Lowes boys are a bit frustrating as I had them both as serious contenders and they havent quite delivered. Alex is probably safe in WSBK certainly in a decent team. Sam needs some exceptional results right now but think it might be too late. Maybe he could join his brother in Superbikes. Cant see him returning to Moto2 or WSS or BSB.
Good luck to both of them though.

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i know S. Lowes is not going so well, but is a very good rider, also his brother show whats capable off when things are in a mid good level situation,

Aprilia dont do any good putting extra pressure on him, is very sad year after year i see the world nearer all limits in a bad way letting their own need pushing here, it never will works well, comparing different riders and different machines only can be understand after some years running, all circunstances count so compare mere results is absurd, have to consider all things, i would like Aprilia help S.Lowes, also giving the best matherial they can, looks like not always was that,

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Can he ever give an interview without telling the world ,how exceptional,a talent,Marquez is?He really is in awe of him.

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