At Brno, Sam Lowes achieved his first MotoGP podium since his win at Aragon in 2016, lifting a major weight from his shoulders.
The past few years have been less than ideal for Sam Lowes, a rider who has built up a reputation for crashing but he is a man on a mission to get back to the top. We look at the last few years of his career and what went wrong.
In 2017 Sam Lowes moved to MotoGP with the Aprilia outfit in a two-year deal, the team and Sam expected more from each other and the deal was ended prematurely, Lowes left the class after 2017 with just 5 premier class points to his name and a bitter taste in his mouth for Aprilia.
For 2018, Sam raced for the Swiss Innovative Investors Moto2 team aboard a KTM, the year was plagued with money problems after the teams rebrand, losing all three of their swiss riders in two years including Thomas Luthi who took major sponsors with him to MotoGP. The team could not afford to upgrade their machine, nor could they pay technicians or riders. Lowes ended his Moto2 return season 16th overall with 49 points and a best result of fifth at Sachsenring, something undesired by Lowes who was chasing wins.
Lowes made another change for 2019, moving to the popular and competitive Kalex chassis with his old Gresini team, a team he had won races for in 2016. The season was an improvement, but Sam still struggled, once again finishing in 16th overall with a best result of 5th place which he achieved twice and an improvement of 66 points.
The British rider needed something more, he needed a team who would push him to achieve better, it was announced in a shock move that Lowes would move to the Marc VDS Moto2 team, an incredibly successful Moto2 team with multiple titles from Rabat, Morbidelli and then Alex Marquez who won the 2019 title, various MotoGP riders have also ridden for the team including Joan Mir.
The move was met with controversy with people saying Sam ‘does not deserve’ the ride. Sam very quickly shut down these people, he missed the opening round of the season due to an injury but was right back in form at Jerez taking fourth place, his best result since Valencia 2016, he would follow this up a week later with the same result at Andalusia.
Following these great results, Lowes said: “After being so close to the podium in two races in a row, our objective is to make the podium that we didn’t achieve at Jerez a reality [at Brno].” The rider stuck to his words and did exactly that, he qualified in second place and matched this result in the race, taking his first podium since 2016, a major relief for a rider who has been talked down upon for many years from fans and the media.
“In the race, I was losing too much time in one corner and it was hard to come back from that.” Said Lowes after the race. “Anyway, I just have to say thank you to the team because in every session the bike improves a lot and each weekend I feel comfortable. That’s something I’ve been missing these past few years. Thanks to them and hopefully we can keep this going and take this form to Austria!” Finished Lowes who is looking to continue this run in Austria, we are looking forward to seeing what the British rider can produce, we all know he can win races and he has the right set up around him to do so.
Featured Image – www.motogp.com