Sam Lowes is refusing to be downbeat about being denied victory on his full-time World Supersport debut at Phillip Island, after losing out in the drag to the finish line.
The reigning British Supersport Champion has been a revelation in testing so far, hauling the Parkalgar Honda up amongst more experienced rivals on each occasion.
He would prove even more impressive during his first race outing with the team, staying in the lead fight from start-to-finish and pulling off some fine overtaking manoeuvres in the process.
Having swapped the lead with Luca Scassa on numerous occasions leading up to the last lap, a bold pass just corners from the finish line saw Lowes enter the final bend with the advantage.
However, an untidy exit would give Scassa the chance to draft back past in time for the finish line, the Italian – and also Broc Parkes – sneaking through by just three thousandths of a second.
A bitter result to an otherwise flawless performance, though Lowes was frustrated with the circumstances, he was delighted with the result on paper.
“It was a really good race for me - my first time in the championship with Parkalgar Honda,” he beamed. “I was a bit nervous but I got a decent start and then made some moves on the riders around me.
“I knew it was a long race and was thinking about tyre wear. I passed Luca on the last lap but did not get a mega run on to the start/finish straight. Third in my first race is great; I am loving my team and my bike, I am enjoying myself.”
Lowes also drew considerable praise from team manager Simon Buckmaster, despite the excruciating outcome.
“What a superb ride by Sam to finish third on his debut for the Parkalgar Honda team. He went into the last corner a little too hot in the lead and lost some drive and the other two were able to get past him on the run to the line - but that takes nothing away from his achievement.
“This is his first time at the track and in our team. Sam's bike was strong everywhere, the package was good and no one can be disappointed with the result.”