Lexelle-sponsored Alex Lowes admitted he struggled on his MotoGP debut at Silverstone but was happy to finish the race and take some points away.
Called up in place of injured countryman Bradley Smith, the Yamaha World Superbike star qualified 16th in the wet and, after losing a place on the restart, moved back up the order to finish 40-seconds from race winner Maverick Vinales.
“It wasn’t that long ago I was a person sitting in the grandstand cheering on my heroes or favourite riders,” Lowes said.
“So it means a lot to me. It’s really nice to have this opportunity if I never get another one to race a British Grand Prix. And I finished it, which for me is not bad.”
He claimed riding with a full tank of fuel and with worn tyres at the end it was difficult to adjust and we wasn’t able to ride his usual aggressive race.
“Honestly I didn’t feel very good,” Lowes admitted. “I struggled a bit. It was the first time I used the full fuel tank. I locked the front on the brakes just in a straight-line two or three times early on in the race. That sort of really put me off a bit.
“I really struggled to find some confidence in the middle part of the race. And then at the end I was trying to understand how to ride when the tyre was worn, because it was the first time obviously I had done a race distance.
“I didn’t feel good so I’m a bit negative, but at the end I took some points. That was my goal.
“I’ve never tried the bike with a full fuel. So I shouldn’t be mad at myself for not understanding it, but I’m a racer and I was a little bit.
“I didn’t disgrace myself. I was 40 second from the top guys in the world.
“It’s quite normal that I’m still learning, but I want to do a bit better. I’m going to try to improve a lot for next week.”
Lowes will be looking to adjust his technique for the next race at Misano on September 11.
“I’m going in thinking; ‘I shouldn’t really be going this much faster than them at this point’. And there’s other places where I’ve basically stopped and they’re driving away from me. So I need to change how I ride the bike a bit.
“I’ve got a bit more understanding. I’m not quite sitting on the bike right, which is creating quite a lot of problems. But with the World Superbike you have to be off the bike a bit more and keep the bike upright because you can’t run the same lean angle.
“During that race, I know it sounds really silly to say, but every lap there was one part after the complex where I was trying to sit in different positions just to see what difference it made. Obviously you shouldn’t be doing that during the race but I needed to understand.
“In the end I was sitting more with my bum on the bike and it was turning a bit better, which I wouldn’t really expect. I felt a bit nicer. So hopefully next week if I can start free practice one with a bit more of that understanding I can have a bit of a better opportunity to chip away at a better result.
“I genuinely love the bike. It’s fantastic. Even this morning in the wet I was having a bit of a play with it. Honestly I really, really love the bike. I’ve dreamt about riding a MotoGP bike and it’s everything I thought it would be. They’re the best bikes in the world. I’m still someone that loves racing bikes.
“Honestly if you forget the result and the lap time, I love riding it.”