Sam Lowes has vowed to prove Aprilia bosses wrong after confirming he will not stay with the Italian factory for a second year, and stated that he aims to find another seat in MotoGP for 2018.

Reaching the premier class was supposed to be a dream. But instead the 26-year old has had to field repeated questions about his future and fight to have a machine that is on a par with team-mate Aleix Espargaro, while working at the considerable task of adapting to a MotoGP machine.

On Thursday evening, Lowes was informed by Aprilia boss Romano Albesiano that the factory would not retain his services for another year, and told fellow Englishman Scott Redding would be taking his seat.

“I accept it’s a results-driven business,” Lowes said on Friday. But there remains frustration that he was not given a fair shot. In his Friday media debrief, the Englishman went on to reveal that he aims to stay in MotoGP next year, and if that isn’t possible, finding a competitive seat in Moto2 would suffice. An edited version of his exchange with the press is below.

Question:
So you won’t be continuing with Aprilia in 2018?

Sam Lowes:
No. Obviously over the last few months there have been a lot of rumours. Every one knows the situation. It’s one of them. Of course I’m sad because I want to be in MotoGP. Hopefully we still can try and do something if at all possible and try and stay in MotoGP. I love riding and racing bikes more than anything in the world. I’m so happy to be in MotoGP. It makes me proud. But the situation has been difficult. It’s been difficult for many reasons. You dream all your life to get here. You arrive here. The situation is maybe not quite like what you think. I feel like I’ve got a lot to give in this class, in this paddock. You’re very easily dismissed in sport. I accept it’s a results driven sport.

I feel like I’ve got a lot to give, that I’ve got a load of potential. Today was not so bad. I was a second off pole, in the mix and showing potential. There has been a progression. I don’t know. I think when you’re a rookie in MotoGP on a bike which has had a best result of fifth or sixth, it’s not a race-winning package… I’m not saying that it can’t be. The way they seem to think about things is very different to me. I try to be a good guy. I try to be an honest guy. I try and talk direct in any situation. Some people in there don’t do that at all, so it’s hard to know where you are. That’s why the situation over the last few months has been the way it is. It’s not been clear. I haven’t really known what’s going on. No one tells you anything. They’re going behind your back and talk bad. I’m not going to talk bad about Aprilia or the bike. The bike potential is very high.

Some of the people have let me down personally. They can argue that I’ve let them down. OK, that’s alright. I’ll come stronger from this. Hopefully I can stay in MotoGP. I’ll hold my head high. I’m trying hard, working hard and improving. I believe in myself a lot. Hopefully I’ll look back at this and it will be them thinking they’ve made a big mistake. That’s a very big motivation. I woke up this morning with the attitude, I felt so much more relaxed, with the attitude of, ‘I’ll prove you wrong.’ I believe I can. Last year I was winning grand prix. I’ve been successful in the past. MotoGP’s difficult. I think the situation is not over yet.

Question:
What was Aprilia’s reasoning behind not keeping you in the team?

Sam Lowes:
When I had a meeting with the boss, he told me, ‘Less risky. We need to go with a less risky option.’ If you’re racing to be less risky, you should all probably leave. I said, ‘OK then. Less risky. Nice one.’

Question:
When did they tell you?

Sam Lowes:
Yesterday, some time.

Question:
Did you think you had more time to prove you would be there?

Sam Lowes:
“The time is actually Monday after this weekend. It’s actually the official date on the contract. Obviously you have to do it before. I went to Italy over the break. I thought things were quite OK. Brno was not so good. It was a strange weekend and a strange race for everybody. So it’s strange to be judged if it was on that.

I’m working towards and I’ll prove them wrong because there are people in that garage that don’t believe in me. They didn’t believe in me from the start, anyway. So you’re fighting a losing battle. If we’re in here to be less risky, or everyone looking out for themselves… That’s not why we go racing. That’s not why I go racing. I go racing to have fun and be the best I can be and be in an environment where we know everyone loves racing. It’s a passion. It’s not just a job.

The situation has been tough, very tough. It’s disappointing. Of course, I’d have liked to have stayed here. I don’t know which direction they’ll take. Obviously there’s an idea. I wouldn’t call that a less risky option. I’m not slagging anyone off. I’m motivated to prove them all wrong. If I get some results before the end of the year, there will be some people in the team I thank and some I don’t thank. That’s alright.

In life and away from the track, you try and be respected. I try and respect people, even everyone stood here. I know a lot of you that are here on a personal level and you try and be respectful. They haven’t been respectful towards me and that’s difficult because I’m a man. OK, the last results haven’t been perfect but I’ve not done anything to respect their brand. It has been disappointing. There’s some people in there I won’t be friends with but that’s not the end of the world. Now, the ball’s in my court, to go out there and try and prove they’re making a mistake and secure my future in MotoGP. That’s what I’ll try and do.

Question:
When you speak of those people, are you referring to management level or those in the garage?

Sam Lowes:
It’s not really the mechanics. It’s just a little bit above, yeah. Everyone knows who it is.

Question:
What is the plan for 2018 now?

Sam Lowes:
If it’s not possible, only last year I was in Moto2. I would look at trying to go back to Moto2 and look to try and win races and be world champion because that would be great. Right now I’m focussed on staying in this class. I’m learning a lot. Today was another step forward. I want to stay otherwise it would be a lot of work for nothing. If you leave it’s hard to come back. I’ll try and stay here. If not, Moto2 on a good package and try and fight for the world championship. If you look at my results last year, I’m capable of doing so.

Question:
Talk of your future started very early this year…

Sam Lowes:
It started after about three races. All winter I was on the old bike, until Qatar. I don’t feel like I’ve had the fair crack of the whip. I’m really grateful for my team-mate’s support. We had a nice chat last night. He knows how hard it is and he said it wasn’t right. Now the bikes are a bit similar. It’s strange. You’re better asking them why. It’s like they didn’t even believe in me before I arrived. My team last year was fantastic. They had my bike. I could do anything with the bike. Nothing was a problem. Here everything is a problem.

Question:
In Brno, Romano Albesiano suggested he would look at your performances last weekend and this, then make a decision. Was that communicated to you over the summer?

Sam Lowes:
Honestly, the communication between him and myself and my management is so lacklustre and not professional. It’s very difficult – difficult to work with. It’s difficult to know what page you’re on. I don’t know. It’s been difficult to know what position you’re in. Is it OK? Yes? No? Obviously they asked every rider in the world to come here, and no one did. If you’ve got a girlfriend and you’re asking all your mates to go out with them it’s probably not a great situation. That’s the way it is. He was very open to say they asked a lot of people. If it was Cal or someone on the bike I could maybe accept it a bit more. Definitely from a ‘less risk’ factor that they spoke about. You know, I wish them the best. I think the project and the bike has potential to do well in MotoGP. But yeah, there’s no love lost. There’s not going to be no issues at all but I don’t owe them anything because the opportunity that they said they’d give me is not there. Let’s focus on myself for the rest of the year, do the best opportunity I can. Hopefully we can turn it round, get some results and stay in this class.

Comments

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Less risky yet they sign SCOTT REDDING of all riders? Holy moly. Aprilia what sad bloody excuse. From what I've read, Sam is once of the chillest, mature young riders out there. Takes his game seriously and doesn't point fingers. If Aprilia thought Sam was "risky" then what do they expect Mr. Complainer/Moaner/Cusser Scott to do. Hell Scott complains he's at a disadvatage simply because he doesn't have the latest Ducati fairing. 

Aprilia has severe management issues. Good luck to them with Scott on the bike..

Consider this. When Scott entered MGP he rode for Fausto. He finished all but one race that year, including two 7th place finishes on a Open Class Honda no less. I can certainly see why they would see him as an improvement.

I'm not a fan of either riders btw. Just playing devil's advocate here.

If it was a popularity or personality contest, Sam would probably win.  But he suffers from the Lowes family tendency to throw the bike in the gravel a lot, that's expensive, especially when you're trying to develop a bike. Aprilia gets no good data from a bike tumbling through the gravel trap, so on that front, Redding *IS* less risky.

It's a shit move by Aprilia, but you can't blame Redding for wanting to stay in the top class of Grand Prix motorcycle racing.

Completely agree with SB. Of all the other riders out there why would you choose Redding, someone who has done nothing other than boast about top 6. Sam has had a difficult season but has not been given long enough. He's ex WSS champion having beaten Sofuoglu and has won Moto2 races. Unbelievable.

Maybe we should have a competition. Whoever gets the most points in the remaining races out of Scott and Sam should choose what they ride next year......as well as a signed photo of Dovi.

Maybe we should have a competition. Whoever gets the most points in the remaining races out of Scott and Sam should choose what they ride next year......as well as a signed photo of Dovi.

Posting the above post gave me the first 'unexpected crash' the difference to before was I got a very technically worded window with an apology at the bottom.

I told you this site is fun.

Still the posts always show 8 minutes past the hour btw.

Interesting, I never noticed the "8 minutes past" thing until you mentioned it...

I find it hard to believe Crash have gone with 'Drupal' as a content management system (I have an internet type job where I am exposed to this type of thing a fair bit). Still, hopefully they can make it work a bit better then the old site :-)

You can understand why Aprilia are ditching Sam. It's the crashing, to be blunt. 16 crashes so far this year, not including tests. That's a lot. And not crashes where he's been challenging for good positions either.

That said, the way that Aprilia have dragged the whole business of his sacking through the media and undermined him at every turn is quite frankly disgusting. And a warning to any future riders signing with them. 

Best of luck to Sam for the 2018 season. I hope he lands a good ride.

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