Sam Lowes conceded he may have "pushed too much" in Sunday's German Grand Prix, after falling out of the action on the 13th lap, but felt his performance across the weekend, and the race in particular, were signs of further progress.

The Englishman had shown strongly on Friday before a frightening crash on the exit of turn seven, when he touched a wet white line, curtailed his qualifying efforts, ensuring he started from 21st place, on the seventh row.

Not to be deterred, Lowes set about reaching a point-scoring place early on, and he made swift progress. Having climbed to 17th by lap ten, the 26-year old was closing in on Jack Miller ahead.

But he then crashed out on three laps later, an unfortunate end to a promising situation. "The race pace was a big step," he said. "Maybe I pushed too much. I was trying to catch the guys in front. It's the first time I've really been in a position to go forward, overtake guys and keep going forward.

"It's another new thing for me in MotoGP. I wasn't struggling. I was faster than the guys I was around. I passed them. I was catching up to Miller and them ahead. For me, that's a good step compared to the start of the year.

"So, obviously as you go faster and push more, there are new things to learn all the time. It was unfortunate to make the mistake that I did, but there are still positives to take from the race."

It was the second weekend running that Lowes had shown flashes of the speed that carried him to three victories in the Moto2 class in 2015 and '16. Had there been a change of mindset before last week's race at Assen?

"Not really," he said. "It's just coming together. Obviously it's not perfect and crashing is never good but I'm not far away from being in a situation that is quite good. I know that the summer break has come at a good time for me.

"I can train hard, relax a bit, and then come back in a good way. The next few tracks after that suit me. I've learnt a lot. The team has learnt a lot. Sometimes you just need a few weeks to take all of that in.

"My head's in a good place. I think the situation isn't easy. I think the team, we've also been finding our way. Aleix did a good job today and also in some other races but the whole situation isn't easy.

"I didn't come into MotoGP an expect to be winning straight away. So from that side I expected it. My head's in a good place. Like I said, I believe in Aprilia. I believe in myself. We're half-way through the year. We have a long way to go."

Looking ahead to the next race at Brno in five weeks, Lowes feels it should be easier to acclimatise to its wide-open sweeps than the narrow twists of the Sachsenring.

"I think when you've had a five week break it's good to go to a track that you like. You can enjoy. Brno should be quite an easy transition from Moto2, whereas this place was like a completely different track [on a MotoGP bike]. Brno should be good. It's open and wide. I feel better on the bike so hopefully we can go there and make another step."

By Neil Morrison

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