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10 hours ago
By motogp.com

Moto2™ drama: Zarco and Lowes clash at Silverstone

The #BritishGP - a turning point in the title fight?

Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) started his home race from pole after having topped all the practice sessions of the weekend, but what looked to be shaping up into a battle for the win between Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten), Lowes and title rival Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) took a turn late in the race as an incident on track left the two championship contenders in the run off and Luthi free at the front. Zarco, running too hot into Vale, made contact with Lowes as the Brit tried to take the corner, with both subsequently heading straight off. Race Direction took a clear view on the incident and penalised Zarco for irresponsible riding.

Moto2™ title contenders crash at #BritishGP

Sam Lowes (P21): “I had some problems early in the race, but then later it was easy for me to recover: in the final stages I was feeling really comfortable so, with three laps to go, I passed Zarco and I was already thinking about catching Luthi, because I felt I had something in my pocket. Then Zarco made a move on the inside, pushing me off track with a stupid maneuver. Zarco did something wrong, and I think he did it on purpose, so he deserved to be penalized, but at this point I don’t care about it: apart from the championship, today was a special day for me and I wanted to win, but for this it was not possible. I worked hard during the whole weekend and I was fast in both the dry and wet, then in the race I was in a good position to win. I really wanted to get the win in my home race, and it’s a difficult to accept this situation, because I didn’t make any mistakes. I’m very sorry for the team because they did a great job. Now the only answer we can give is to return in Misano even stronger”.

Johann Zarco (P22): "It's difficult to explain what happened. In the race I set a good pace and I felt good, but not enough to feel that I could take the lead. Three laps from the end, Sam Lowes overtook me. As I didn't want to lose touch with Luthi, I attempted to get past Sam again. I tried, but the front brake protector broke in our initial contact and the lever lifted up, impeding me from braking hard and meaning I had to go straight on. I lost time because of the incident, although I thought to myself that 6th place and 10 points was damage limitation. In the end, I received a penalty; we must accept it and stay focused so as to not make any mistakes at the next race, as I need to get a win and score more points for the World Championship."

Whilst the incident for the two left them both without points and in status quo - with Lowes restarting after falling from his bike and Zarco's penalty demoting the Frenchman - Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) was quietly riding through the pain barrier after recently breaking his collarbone. Starting from nineteenth on the grid after a tough weekend, the GP winner was in the top ten after two thirds race distance, and finally crossed the line in an incredible P7.

"It was a very difficult race. We had to come back bit by bit but the key problem is how painful it was, in my collarbone and shoulder. That affected how I was riding and I did everything I could. When I saw I was getting close to Corsi, and the race was almost over, I decided to go for broke and we gained another position." Alex Rins

With another 9 points taken from Zarco's lead, the gap between Rins and his French rival is now only 10 points - something that must have seemed unimaginable for the Spaniard when he was undergoing surgery just a week before the British GP. The next stop on the calendar is Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli - where Zarco won in 2015, Lowes has been on pole in WorldSSP and Rins was the King of Moto3™ in 2013 and '14....