‘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
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.
“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’