BRIT WATCH LOWES RIDES HIGH
Level-headed Brit settles for second as he builds a base for serious title challenge
A mechanical malfunction brought an end to an unhappy weekend for reigning Moto3 champion Kent, when a clutch problem meant that he was forced to retire from a non-points scoring position in Sunday’s race. Unable to find any front feeling from the Leopard Kalex, Kent is now looking forward to a return to the traditional circuits of Europe and an improvement in form.
Was also plagued with mechanical problems at the weekend, as a serious gearbox fault on his Peugeot-branded Mahindra machine left him fighting to find a gear in every corner of the race. Hitting neutrals between shifts meant that he spent the entire race fighting a misbehaving machine to eventually finish outside the points in 21st.
Sam Lowes showed he’s a serious Moto2 title contender, taking a strong second place in Texas to lead the championship by a single point after three rounds.
Lowes has shrugged off his reputation as a wild rider by demonstrating just how measured he can be. After a hectic first-turn scrabble at the Circuit of the Americas, Lowes was left chasing down pole man Alex Rins – and was controlled enough to know what he needed to do.
“With three laps to go, I believed it was possible to still catch him – but I was pushing, he was pushing, and I was having too many moments. The old me would have caught him up, and then probably crashed!
“I could have caught him, but I don’t know if I could have passed him. If I had a crash with two laps left, it would have been a bad weekend, but instead it’s been great. I finished second, I’m leading the championship, and we can go to the next one, building momentum.”
And while Rins might have been able to hold him off long enough to take victory by two seconds, Lowes was happy that he didn’t fall away as many title rivals did – including reigning champion Johann Zarco.
And that, combined with a slender one-point title lead over the Spaniard, means Lowes heads back to Europe content with his American adventure – especially after a difficult week of travel from Argentina (round two) to Austin (round three).
“Rins didn’t have that much more than me,” admitted Lowes. “It’s not like he destroyed me. I didn’t push in the last two laps and he had a little bit more, but that’s a fair result after the weekend. It was the same in Argentina; Zarco was faster than me all weekend.
“I thought to myself ‘I’m holding pace, not catching him’ – so I just finished the race and took the 20 points. If someone told me at the start of the year you could take two second places at these two races, it wouldn’t have been ideal but I would have taken it, because it’s been a tough week.”
Now Lowes is looking forward to the more traditional tracks of Jerez, Catalunya and Le Mans in the coming weeks. He added: “This year is all about building blocks, and getting a good base. Once we get to round nine or 10, then we can start pushing on.
“But if we give 25 points to these guys now, we’re never going to get it back. I need to keep focused, and maybe take 20 points instead of risking it to take 25. If it was the last race of the year, I’d have pushed for the win, but there wasn’t a championship on the line – and if I had pushed on today there’s not going to be one on the line.”
‘ The old me would’ve caught him up and then probably crashed!’