29 October 2017
The rain that fell heavily until just a few minutes from the start of the penultimate 2017 MotoGP race, held in Malaysia, did not help Sam Lowes. The only Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rider in the race, due to Aleix Espargaró’s absence, crashed during the fifth lap because of the asphalt conditions while battling for a position that would have put him in the points. He managed to restart but after returning to the garage to switch bikes, his race ended early in the tenth lap.
This concluded a weekend that was strongly impacted by the absence of Aleix Espargaró. After his crash in Australia, the Spanish rider underwent successful surgery on his left hand and he will try to be back for the final race of the season in Valencia to resume the competitive level that he and his Aprilia RS-GP had achieved. In recent races, the duo finished sixth at Aragón, seventh in Motegi and played a prominent role in Australia where, after outstanding practice and qualifiers, they demonstrated the potential to fight for the top spots with the best.
“I was already surprised during the sighting lap at how different the track conditions were from FP2. In that session I had felt good in the wet, whereas today I struggled a lot with grip. Unfortunately, I made a small mistake in the group. I was slightly off my line and that was enough to make me lose the front. It’s a pity because in the wet we had the potential to make progress, but in a race this difficult things like this can happen.”