Sam Lowes repeats the trick
Sam Lowes has hit the ground running since his return to Moto2 action. The Brit secured a second successive fourth place finish at the Circuito de Jerez, a result that sees him climb to seventh place in the overall standings.
Having missed round one of the season in Qatar due to a shoulder injury, Sam Lowes has returned to the track hungrier and quicker than ever. In a repeat showing of his performance at the Grand Prix of Spain a week earlier, the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider again crossed the line at the Grand Prix of Andalucia in fourth place. Lowes had started the second of the back-to-back races at Jerez from second on the grid. “I'm obviously happy with the result,” he said. “I finished really well, posting quicker lap times. But my start wasn’t great. Midway through the race, I began having issues with my front tyre. I was losing ground and didn’t feel so comfortable on the bike. I tried to stay calm, not to throw it around too much. That's how I managed to catch the others. Overall, the two races at Jerez have been positive. We’ve bagged some big points, but there’s still plenty of work to do.” His teammate Augusto Fernandes, who again struggled in qualifying, fought back from twenty-third place to finish in thirteenth. “I think I can be happy, because our pace was better than last weekend,” the Spaniard said after the race.
In the MotoGP class, Miguel Oliveira shone in practice and claimed fifth spot on the grid, by some distance the Portuguese’s best qualifying performance since his arrival in MotoGP. Unfortunately, the Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider’s race got off to the worst possible start when he was hit by Brad Binder at turn one. “There was nothing I could do,” explained Oliveira. “I was on the ground before I knew it. It's a real shame because I had the rhythm this weekend to be in the fight for a podium place, or to make the top five at least.” Iker Lecuona also crashed out, while scrapping with Alex Marquez at the last corner.
It was a similarly disappointing day for Red Bull KTM Tech3’s two Moto3 riders. Deniz Öncü, who celebrated his seventeenth birthday on Sunday, crashed with four laps to go having spent the entire race in the battle for the top ten. Meanwhile, Ayumu Sasaki’s race came to a premature end after only eight laps, with the Japanese rider also fighting to keep pace with the leaders.
The Grand Prix of Andalucia weekend also featured a MotoE race that saw Lukas Tulovic claim sixth place, as Tomasso Marcon crashed out on lap eight. Meanwhile, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS racer Mike Di Meglio took the chequered flag in seventh place, only six seconds behind the winner. “We need to improve in practice in order to start from further up the grid and make life easier for ourselves in the race,” said the Frenchman.
Having gone home empty handed for the first time this season, Miguel Oliveira slips to thirteenth in the MotoGP driver standings. Iker Lecuona failed to register a single point at Jerez and has yet to make any mark on the leaderboard. In the Moto2 class, Sam Lowes moves up two places to seventh on 24 points. Augusto Fernandez climbs to eighteenth with 6 points. In Moto3, Deniz Öncü drops to twenty-third place, a point behind teammate Ayumu Sasaki in twenty-first. Lastly, in the MotoE class, Lukas Tulovic slips back a place to fifth while Mike Di Meglio climbs to seventh and Tommaso Marcon falls to seventeenth.