‘THE TI­TLE IS BACK ON’

Ir­re­press­ible Brit says Moto2 ti­tle is still up for grabs af­ter em­phatic Aragon win

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON AT ARAGON MO­TOGP RE­PORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

Sam Lowes de­liv­ered a fault­less demon­stra­tion of his tal­ents at Aragon, and looked un­touch­able. With the points gap re­duced, he’s got one eye on the prize again.

Sam Lowes’ bid to win the 2016 Moto2 crown is now well and truly back on af­ter a stun­ning vic­tory in Aragon saw him able to haul back a huge amount of points to ri­vals Alex Rins and Jo­hann Zarco.

Hav­ing fin­ished four out of the last five pre­vi­ous races out of the points, the 25-year-old Brit was forced to con­cede that win­ning the cham­pi­onship was vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble. But af­ter a dom­i­nant win at the Span­ish cir­cuit he closed the gap back to only 40 points, with 100 points still avail­able – giv­ing the Fed­eral Oil Gresini rider all the mo­ti­va­tion he needs to con­tinue his fight­back.

He said: “It’s back on. I feel good, I’m go­ing to give it ev­ery­thing I have, and at the end of the day I’m go­ing to Mo­togp next year and I have noth­ing to lose. I’m not back in the cham­pi­onship as such, but I’m back in the fight. In Moto2, not ev­ery­one can win a race like I did in Aragon, and it helps to prove that I’m wor­thy of go­ing up to Mo­togp.

“Rins and Zarco are re­ally close to each other on points, and that makes it more dif­fi­cult for them. I’m in a good po­si­tion in a way, be­cause I’ve got two tracks that I love com­ing up in Ja­pan and Phillip Is­land, and if Rins and Zarco get caught up with each other, who knows what might hap­pen?”

The stun­ning re­turn to the dom­i­nant form he had ear­lier in the sea­son comes af­ter a highly suc­cess­ful test for the Gresini squad last week at Va­len­cia. Lowes was able to com­plete hun­dreds of laps run­ning new forks from Öh­lins

‘I’m back in the fight, and it helps to prove I’m wor­thy of go­ing up to Mo­togp’ SAM LOWES

on his Kalex ma­chine – some­thing that he cites as a cru­cial fac­tor in his Aragon suc­cess.

“Ob­vi­ously, I slide the back into corners a lot, and that gives a strange feel­ing from the front, es­pe­cially with the new tyres. The new forks are def­i­nitely bet­ter – even if it’s still mov­ing around, there’s more feel­ing.

“With the old forks, I was think­ing, ‘It’s OK, it’s OK’ then next thing I knew I would be ly­ing in the gravel think­ing, ‘What the f**k?’ I needed a more for­giv­ing bike. When you can feel just be­fore it goes you can ease it off a bit. We tested at the right time and we got the right boost at the right time from the new forks.”

De­spite bag­ging ar­guably the most im­pres­sive Moto2 vic­tory of his ca­reer, he is still smart­ing over re­sults in re­cent races that have thwarted his ti­tle charge.

Caught up in an in­ci­dent with de­fend­ing cham­pion Jo­hann Zarco at his home race at Sil­ver­stone, which saw him lose out on a chance to bat­tle for the win, he knows now ex­actly how he needs to fin­ish off the year.

“It makes me even more pissed off about Sil­ver­stone be­cause I’m only 40 points be­hind now even af­ter all the bad luck we’ve had. If I had taken 25 points there, we’d be in the game. But that’s rac­ing, and the other mis­takes were my fault. But I came here with con­fi­dence, we showed a good level, and we just need to carry on like this!”

Lowes dom­i­nated at Aragon, nar­row­ing the ti­tle gap to 40 points

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