Author: Oli Rushby in Qatar Pics: Gold & Goose Posted: 20 Mar 2016
Sam Lowes has expressed his frustration at the inconsistency of race direction after today’s opening Moto2 race in Qatar.
Lowes, along with six other riders, was handed a ride through penalty in the early stages of the race after allegedly jumping the start. However, Franco Morbidelli and Sandro Cortese, who also visibly jumped the start, were not penalised until the closing stages and therefore only handed a 20 second time penalty.
“I don’t understand why they were so inconsistent with the penalties, giving some people ride throughs and others 20 second penalties,” Lowes said speaking after the race. “I’ve only seen it once, but Morbidelli definitely jumped the start more than me. Why did I end up with a ride through and he only got a 20 second penalty later?
“If I had been out front and knowing I had a 20 second penalty, I could have probably finished fourth or fifth. I finished 22 seconds behind first and that’s with a ride through, and I reckon you lose more on a ride through. You’re looking at close to 28 seconds lost. The rule is if you jump the start you get a ride through penalty, it should be the same for everybody.
“I’ve never jump started in my career. The lights were on for ages, and it seemed like they flickered but I think they could have been on for longer than five seconds.”
Lowes fought through with impressive pace, faster than any other rider in the second half of the race, to take ninth position and shatter the lap record on the final lap of the race.
“I’m disappointed, but I finished ninth, rode a great race considering and I didn’t crash. I dug in today and got the fastest lap and was much faster than a lot of people in the second half of the race. I’m disappointed but I’m also happy that I finished. I got ninth, when I could have got 17th or 20th!”
With Lowes’ main championship rivals, Alex Rins and Johann Zarco, also suffering the same fate and Jonas Folger crashing out in the early stages, the Brit remains pragmatic about the result.
“In the championship race I’m a point behind Rins, so we’ll be good. It was a strange one though, especially in world championship racing at this level. So many big names jumping the start, it’s not normal.”