SAY HELLO TO THE 2016 MOTO2 CHAMP MO­TOGP

With his ap­pren­tice­ship over, has the right tools at his dis­posal and is ready to be­come Moto2 mas­ter SEA­SON PRE­VIEW

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Motogp Preview - By Matthew Birt MCN CON­TRIB­U­TOR

It’s Septem­ber 14, 2014, and Sam Lowes has just fin­ished the Misano Moto2 race 40 sec­onds be­hind win­ner Tito Ra­bat in 18th place.

Con­sumed by frus­tra­tion, he looks ready to throw the towel in on a Grand Prix dream he’s ded­i­cated his en­tire life to.

Un­ap­pre­ci­ated by a Speed Up squad that has blind faith in its own chas­sis and ap­pears obliv­i­ous to the World Su­per­sport cham­pion’s ob­vi­ous tal­ent, you wouldn’t have parted with a big slice of your life sav­ings on Lowes be­ing one of the pre­sea­son favourites for Moto2 in 2016.

But that’s where livewire Lowes finds him­self some 18 months af­ter that Misano mis­ery.

Hard graft, pa­tience, per­se­ver­ance and no lack of rid­ing prow­ess sees Lowes go into 2016 on the best bike in Moto2 with a two-year Mo­togp con­tract al­ready in his pocket with Aprilia in 2017 and ’18.

He can now look back on his rookie sea­son as a tough char­ac­ter-build­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, but one he now ap­pre­ci­ates helped mould him into the tour de force he now is.

“They were hard times be­cause I knew I wasn’t show­ing what I could do and it is frus­trat­ing when you can’t show what you’re ca­pa­ble of. I was get­ting frus­trated be­cause I felt no­body knew who I was even though I was do­ing a good job. I was go­ing to tracks I’d never seen be­fore and had no con­fi­dence in the bike and I was fin­ish­ing eighth. It was bad but how bad was it? I am so happy I didn’t give up and ob­vi­ously it has proven worth it. Last year at least the bike was ca­pa­ble of win­ning and it was good for me to dig in and work hard and turn the sit­u­a­tion around be­cause the

LOWES ON ZARCO AND RINS

“Zarco is go­ing to be hard to beat. He is very strong in the head. He fin­ished ev­ery race last year and that’s world cham­pi­onship stan­dard. That’s what I need to do. I be­lieve Rins will be faster at more races than Zarco but I think he will make more mis­takes than Zarco. If you are in front of those two guys then you are go­ing to be world cham­pion.”

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