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Speed Up Racing's Sam Lowes discusses his first Moto2™ pole, and the disappointment of crashing out in Qatar in his blog for motogp.com.
Sam Lowes is competing for Speed Up Racing in the Moto2™ World Championship, and he will be writing a number of blogs throughout 2015 for motogp.com giving us an exclusive insight into his life and season.
I am going to be doing a blog this year to give you an update on how my season is going and how I am feeling about it all. This is the first one, after the first round of the season in Qatar.
Coming into the weekend I was pretty excited after a strong winter testing, and feeling good with a great atmosphere inside the team. I really enjoyed my first experience of Qatar in 2014 as it’s different to the other races because it's at night, which I really enjoy. I feel that it adds something to the weekend and helps kick off the MotoGP™ season in style.
It's always funny leading up to the first race weekend of the season as we have a few press things and group photos on the Thursday, which is always nice as you get to see all the new teams colours properly for the coming year, and it is great seeing everyone eager to get underway.
On the first night of practice we had two sessions, FP1 and FP2, both went really well for me, in the very first session I had a good feeling and was able to go under the lap record, which was a nice as it showed how much we had improved over the winter straightaway!
My first few laps were funny, as I had only ridden the Losail circuit once the year before, and it took me a while to get grips with it again but I really enjoy the track, as it suits my style. In FP2 we focused a lot on used tyres, only using ones from FP1 at the end of first nights practice, therefore I was very happy and feeling good.
The schedule of the weekend at round one is different to the other races as it is spread over 4 nights rather than 3 days, so on the second 2 days, Friday and Saturday, we only had one session per night. In FP3 we tried working on the harder tyre and again felt good and we ended the session fastest. The Moto2™ class is always one of the most tight and competitive, and this season will be no different. After the 3 practice sessions I knew that we had a chance of getting my first pole position in Moto2™ which would have been a dream start for me after a difficult 2014, where I learnt so much but didn't get the results I know I am capable of.
Saturday night came, me and all the team were feeling good, we had some small things to try at start of session before focussing on getting a solid grid position. It was nice to get into the first qualifying session of the season, especially after how well we had gone in practice. I didn't get the best lap time I could have, as I made small mistake at the end, but still managed to take my first pole position in Moto2™ and the first one of 2015. It was mega feeling for me as it showed a little bit of mine and the teams potential, and how much we have improved since last season. Over all of the sessions I had been fast and consistent, and was feeling very good for race day. It was a nice position to be in.
The riders in pole position in both Moto2/3 and the front row of MotoGP™ all have a press conference together once all the qualifying sessions have finished, and the pole position riders are presented with watches from Tissot. This is great, and it was really nice to be up there with those guys. It was the first time that I had experienced this in the paddock.
Normally when you wake up on race day morning you don't have long before warm up, then you are into the race, so you don’t have long to think about too much! But in Qatar for race one, as its night, you have all day to relax and chill before warm up at around 17:00, so you have longer than normal to think about starting the first race of the season from pole. But I was happy and proud to have got my first pole and was very excited for the race. Warm up was no problem, we just used old tyres to see how the bike would feel at the end of the race.
It was a great feeling to sit on pole position and look down into turn one, I had tunnel vision for the lights, with a clear road in-front. Honestly, it was one of the best feelings of my career and I couldn't wait to get into the race.
At start of the race I made a very good start and it was nice to lead the first lap of the season but I made a small mistake at end of the lap to let Zarco pass me. I felt really good behind Zarco and the pace was what I had expected, and I felt comfortable. Then at end of lap 3, I hit a false neutral and ran wide onto the dirty part of the track - looking back I should have ran off track and back on - but because I tried to get around the corner I lost the front. It was a small mistake and I couldn't believe it as I had felt so good. I messed up and I was very upset after the race, as I couldn't believe what had happened.
I don't want to comment to much on the other guys races, but for sure, Zarco was very unlucky and deserved the win. But the guys who made the podium did a great job and will be at the front fighting in Austin.
But this is racing and I definitely need to not make mistakes like this, but there are 17 races left to put it right. I am really looking forward to Austin as I enjoyed the circuit last season, and I want to get there and put the disappointment of Qatar behind me. I am very happy with my bike and team, plus we have a great atmosphere in the garage, so I know we can carry on the form from Qatar.
Since Qatar I have been back in the gym training hard and relaxing with my girlfriend and family, refreshing myself and getting ready for round 2!
I will keep checking in more over the season and may even get a bit better at writing these by then!
Thanks for all the support guys it means a lot!
On it!! Sam Lowes #22
If you have any questions for Sam that would you like him to answer in his next blog, simply take to twitter using the hashtag #AskSam22.
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