Sam Lowes is in the thick of a title dispute with Alex Rins and a strong Johann Zarco as he bids to become the first Brit to win the intermediate crown (one year after Danny Kent ruled Moto3) and add the trophy to his British and World Supersport accolades. A fifteen minute chat with Sam easily rolls onto double that time and the Isle of Man resident talks at a rapid pace to-boot. From humble beginning to subverting opinions here’s what we found out…

Being slightly late for any interview is embarrassing and quite sloppy but I have a good excuse (an over-running press conference) for my ten-minute tardiness with Sam Lowes. Arriving at the Gresini team’s Federal Oil hospitality the 25 year old has already been talking, and judging by the pace of his converse, the rapid-fire stories, little off-the-record comments and a general satisfied air then another sit-down at about life at the top edge of MotoGP is not a chore for the former British and World Supersport champ.

It is hard not to be infected by Lowes’ enthusiasm. Even after a damp disaster at Sachsenring he is chatty and affable post-race and post-two crashes, although the grin doesn’t quite pop up with the same regularity as any other time you’ll bump into him around the paddock.

One half of another set of road racing siblings (twin Alex is trying to make his way on the works Yamaha in WorldSBK) Sam is in this third Moto2 term and currently his best with victory in Jerez and three more podiums. His rear wheel sliding dominance at Jerez was a joy to behold and his verve for racing and sparkiness to get on track was a vivid part of the make-up that persuaded Aprilia to give him a MotoGP bow in 2017 and 2018.

It would be a shame to paraphrase any more of Sam’s story when he does such a good job of telling it himself. From pennies to pole positions and touching distance of the record books and the hallowed asphalt of the MotoGP pit garage here is ‘22’s take on the world…

You’ve been building up to this level of performance for a few years…even though you have won championships this must be some of the best moments of your career…

Yeah, even though I won Supersport I was under no illusion that it would be easy coming into this paddock. I took the [only] ride that I could and I am happy that I did that to get here. I knew it would be difficult in the beginning. A lot of the tracks are difficult and I only knew seven of them so there was eleven to find out about! You can be half a second off and qualify tenth and everybody thinks you are rubbish. It was hard coming from Supersport and I felt that I had to prove myself. Anything negative [in terms of results] seemed to carry the judgement that ‘Supersport is crap’. I feel great now and I am starting to prove myself a bit. I’m in a good position with a good team and a good bike. It is the first year – in theory – that I have the same bike as my competitors. I think some of the results so far have showed something. The level at Supersport was nothing to do with me but some people who have been in Grand Prix for fifteen years look negatively towards that paddock; which is wrong really. I felt it…and didn’t expect it. In the first year of Moto2 I had a couple of front rows but no rides or results that showed I could do the job. Last year I won a race and had four-five podiums and a couple of pole positions and it showed I was fast and could ‘do it’ in the races. A couple of results gets the ball rolling, people look at you in a different way and you take confidence from it. Even more so this year and fighting for the championship is another confidence boost. I don’t feel the negativity so much.

What about that negativity? Is it insecurity?

I think so. I’m a bit like that; I feel that I have to please everybody-


I don’t know. I think it is just where I have come from and the need to prove myself. It is strange. I have not had a career like a lot of the guys I am racing against and who grew up into this [Grand Prix]. At eighteen years old I was going to work! I wasn’t a Pro…and I think that is why I sometimes need to pinch myself: I was leading this series and next year I’m going to be a MotoGP rider and that’s from nothing apart from hard work, learning and trying to get better. In the first year – I wouldn’t say ‘in awe’ – but I had a little bit of the feeling that I wouldn’t have expected to be here five years ago.

What about that transition? You won a world championship – with is remarkable in any discipline or sport – and have now risen to the top of Moto2. It must have been an interesting trip…

I don’t think you ever take a step back in life. I used to watch this class and think ‘Oh, that kid’s going well…’. I believe in myself 100%. I’m not a big-headed person but now I am here and have seen and lived it then I know I can beat everybody in this class. When I won in America in 2015 it was really strange. I’d come off a bad year and people were not talking about me. I actually tried to get out; I didn’t want to be in that team again but winning that Grand Prix early on changed me. Nobody can ever take a Grand Prix win away from you when you achieve it. Since Barry Sheene how many Brits have won a GP? Five? Six? Seven? Not many. It is a nice feeling to be in that group and it gave me a lot of confidence; the feeling that I was meant to be here. There are others who have been racing ten years and never won a Grand Prix. I took a step up and now I feel I should be here.

Photo by CormacGP. Read the rest of the story in the new OTOR HERE

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