ROBBED!

‘I’ll come back next race and do my best to beat him. I’m gut­ted, but he’s a dick­head’ Lowes slams ti­tle leader Zarco af­ter col­li­sion cost him a home race win

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - AT SIL­VER­STONE SPORT REPORTER oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

Sam Lowes was de­nied his chance of a home Grand Prix vic­tory at Sil­ver­stone af­ter an overly am­bi­tious lunge from ti­tle ri­val Jo­hann Zarco wiped him out of the race with three laps to go.

The Brit had been quick­est in ev­ery ses­sion, both wet and dry, across the week­end and took his sec­ond suc­ces­sive home Grand Prix pole on Satur­day, mak­ing him­self a clear favourite for Sun­day’s race.

Fight­ing at the front from the off, the 25-year-old looked com­fort­able through­out the race even when ri­vals Thomas Luthi and Jo­hann Zarco passed him for the lead to­wards the clos­ing stages.

Lowes made his move on Zarco to take sec­ond with three laps to go, but the French­man re­sponded with a des­per­ate lunge up the in­side into Brook­lands be­fore sub­se­quently los­ing con­trol and wip­ing Lowes out of the race.

“I was on it all week­end and felt re­ally good in the race,” Lowes told MCN. “Three laps around Sil­ver­stone is a long time and I feel I had a good plan for those laps and that’s why I passed Zarco when I did. I felt re­laxed, I wasn’t push­ing too hard in the mid­dle of the race and could have gone a lot faster.

But de­spite Lowes’ pace a des­per­ate lunge from Zarco re­sulted in heavy con­tact, with both men run­ning wide and Lowes crash­ing.

An ex­as­per­ated Lowes con­tin­ued: “He wasn’t fast enough, he knew I was quicker than him and to pass some­one straight back at the next cor­ner like that is a bit of a novice move, but that’s how it is. I’ll come back to the next race and do my best to beat him there. I’m gut­ted, but he’s a dick­head!”

Af­ter three years of try­ing, Zarco’s move de­nied Lowes what could have been his last chance of vic­tory at his home Grand Prix with the 2013 World Su­pers­port cham­pion step­ping up to Mo­togp with Aprilia next year, where run­ning at the front would be a big ask for even a rider of Lowes’ cal­i­bre.

“I thought I had it to be hon­est. I’ve never been able to be that re­laxed in Moto2 apart from at Jerez ear­lier this year and I knew they would pass me at some point with the long straights as they’re a bit smaller than me, but I felt re­ally good, so for it to end like that is a big shame as to­day was my chance to get my first home GP win and he put a stop to that.”

De­spite a few tough rounds, Lowes re­mained within a shout of fight­ing for the ti­tle this year, but af­ter walk­ing away from the Bri­tish round with zero points, he ad­mits his chances are all but over now.

“I said I needed to win here to keep my cham­pi­onship alive and I do still stand by that, but at least he didn’t get any points ei­ther, so maybe I have a small, small chance but I have to win the next race. Re­al­is­ti­cally I think the cham­pi­onship is over now and I just have to fo­cus on each race.”

Zarco was given a 30-sec­ond penalty for the dan­ger­ous move, which played right into the hands of the other ti­tle con­tender Alex Rins. De­spite hav­ing bro­ken his col­lar­bone just nine days ear­lier in a minibike crash, Rins took a strong sev­enth in Sun­day’s race to move within 10 points of the cham­pi­onship lead.

It wasn’t a home Grand Prix to cel­e­brate for Danny Kent ei­ther, with the Moto3 champ un­able to even come close to a re­peat of his dom­i­nant home win last year. Af­ter a dif­fi­cult week­end, he crossed the line to take a soli­tary point in 15th.

JO­HANN ZARCO

“Cor­ner 16 isn’t easy, and when I came in Sam saw me, tried to re­sist, and when we touched once my front brake moved up and it was dif­fi­cult to brake. Then we touched a sec­ond time and this time he crashed. I was sorry for him. It’s the game we play when we race. I was in the racer mind-set.

‘It’s the game we play when we race. I was in the racer mind-set’

His brake lever out of reach, Zarco slams into Sam Lowes The French­man forces the Bri­tish Moto2 star off track

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