Sam Lowes arrives for this weekend's French Moto2 Grand Prix after a promising private test at Mugello, where he tried new parts to soften the front-end of his Swiss Innovative Investors KTM.

The Englishman, who took his best finish of the season with eighth last time at Jerez, is seeking more feel in low-grip conditions.

"In the colder sessions at Jerez I was in the top three, but when it got hot I struggled a bit with the front," Lowes said at Le Mans on Thursday. "Add that to the fact that I had to finish the race and it wasn't the greatest performance, but we're back on the right way and looking for a solid weekend.

"We had a really good test last week at Mugello. I was quick and felt good. We had some new bits on the front of the bike which were nice. Different stiffness in certain parts, like triple clamps and stuff, to try and give me a different feeling in the front.

"When the track's got grip and the temperature is not as high, I feel like I can do anything with the bike. When it gets hot, it becomes a little bit vague and harder for me to understand where the grip is.

"So [the new parts] have a bit less support and bit more movement for more feedback. Before it was solid and it was mint when it worked. But when it didn't work it, was hard to understand and I couldn't feel the track.

"To start with here, we'll go with what we had at the test because it was a good step and just go from there because for me before it was on the limit anyway. I think now we're not going to be out of the range, even when it's grippy it's still going to be in a good place.

"The other good thing for us this weekend is that they've brought softer tyres than Moto2 has had here the last couple of years. I think that can be an advantage for the KTM.

"They struggled a bit here last year, I don’t know why. The bike is strong in braking and with the soft tyre the grip shouldn't be an issue so there's no reason why we should struggle."

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After a miserable season in MotoGP with Aprilia, Lowes made clear he was returning to Moto2 with the aim of claiming the title as a springboard back to the premier-class.

But after incidents in the opening three rounds, Lowes only has eleven points to his credit and is now focussed on laying the groundwork for a 2019 Moto2 title assault.

"I don’t want to go back to MotoGP next year. One, because the results have not been good enough at the start of this year and, two, because I've been there in a situation that's not great and if I was to go back now that's the only chance again. I've got no interest in doing that.

"Like I say, the first four races results-wise haven’t been great. But over the year we'll be able to come back and we're going to be fast. Which is nice. I just want to get some results again, ready to try and have a full go at [the title next year."

With most MotoGP riders signing up on new two-year deals, the window for a return to the premier-class may not be open again until 2021.

"The goal is to be world champion in Moto2 - whether it's next year or the year after," Lowes shrugged. "Just keep working towards that and then if something happens we'll see.

"But right now I've got no desire to go back [to MotoGP] and have a year like last year. Absolutely none. I didn't have a battle or race all year. Just with one or two riders. Now in Moto2 that's the biggest thing, you're back with riders again and feel like you're a bit out of sync with all the battling. So we missed a little bit of that in the first four races.

"Of course everyone wants to go to MotoGP, but if I had the choice to go back in the same situation as before I wouldn't do it. Not for any amount of money. And to get a better choice than that I need to win every race here.

"So my priority is to stay here, improve over this year, win some races and start being at the front – which we can do, we know where we need to improve and where I need to improve, and have a full go at it next year."

Remaining in Moto2 next season means Lowes will be present for the change from Honda to Triumph engines and introduction of more sophisticated electronics.

"It's nice to have the change for everybody. It's been a long time with the Honda engine. Also for me, I've got quite a lot of experience now. I've been fast with the Speed Up, the Kalex, the KTM. I've got experience with Supersport electronics. So for me I'm in quite a good position, given the new engine and electronics coming. I've got quite a lot of information I can give.

"And from the rider's side it's always nice. I think the Honda engine is a bit long in the tooth now. It wasn't an amazing engine when I rode it in Supersport in 2011! It was old then! I think it is a good time to change, but fair play with what they've done with the Honda engine because the bike's are quite even, the reliability has been great. Overall it's been fantastic.

"It'll be hard for Triumph to match that level of consistency and reliability, but I think they can and - obviously being British – I think it'll be a really good thing for the championship and I'm really looking forward to it."



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