Sam Lowes has slammed Aprilia management in the wake of his 2018 contract termination, the Briton taking issue with ‘lacklustre’ communication between it and himself.
2013 World Supersport champion Lowes was contracted to Aprilia for two years beginning in 2017, but after a tough start to his MotoGP career – he has scored just two points in 10 races – the Italian manufacturer quickly cast his future into doubt.
Aprilia boss Romano Albesiano said prior to the Czech Grand Prix that Lowes had two races to prove himself to secure the second year of his contract.
However, as Lowes’ manager Roger Burnet confirmed to BT Sport, Aprilia activated its break clause in the Briton’s contract on Thursday, with unconfirmed reports Scott Redding – who himself has been dropped by Pramac in favour of Jack Miller for 2018 – will join the team.
When asked on Friday at the Red Bull Ring about the situation, Lowes disagreed with the lack of communication between himself and Aprilia management, but has vowed to prove the marque wrong in the remaining eight races.
“Honestly, the communication between him (Albesiano) and me, myself and management, is so lacklustre and not professional, and it’s very difficult,” Lowes told motorsport.com.
“I wish them the best – I think the project has great potential, I think bike has great potential to do well in MotoGP, but there’s no love lost.
“There’s going to be no issues obviously at all, but I don’t owe them anything, because the opportunity they said they gave me wasn’t there anyway.
“So, yeah, it’s been frustrating, it’s been disappointing, there’s some people in there that I won’t be friends with but that’s not the end of the world.
“Now the ball’s in my court, to go out there, prove that they’re making a mistake and try to secure my future in MotoGP – and that’s what I’ll try to do.”
Crutchlow: “All they’ve done is demoralise him”
Fellow Briton Cal Crutchlow pulled no punches in his response to the situation, the LCR Honda man branding it a ‘disgrace’.
Crutchlow, who is good friends with the Aprilia rider, has questioned Aprilia’s expectations of Lowes in his maiden campaign and believes his speed warrants him a proper chance.
“I think it’s a disgrace,” he told Autosport.com.
“There’s no other way to put it. What did they expect him to do in his first year in MotoGP? The package is not a Yamaha, it it?
“We know they’ve treated him like crap, we know that the bike hasn’t started in most sessions, the crew chief is not very good.
“All they’ve done is demoralise him more every time. The way it’s been handled has been out of order and I don’t agree with it. He deserves a shot because he is fast.”