Another Arbolino recovery to qualify 7th in Malaysia
Tony Arbolino fought through Q1 for the 2nd race weekend in succession to post an encouraging qualifying performance of 7th, while Sam Lowes also improved significantly to place 11th.
- Tough conditions greeted Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino on Saturday, as they rode in ambient temperatures of 34 degrees and 69% humidity during qualifying.
- P3, the first Moto2 session of Saturday, was punctuated by two red flags due to separate crashes for Izan Guevara and Darryn Binder, with the session taking over an hour to complete.
/// SAM LOWES, 11th – 2’06.225
- After complaining of a lack of front-end confidence and rear traction on Friday, a number of overnight set-up changes put Sam 10th in P3, with a lap time that was nearly a full second faster than his best effort on day 1.
- The Briton then showed similar speed in Q2 to qualify 11th, but was unlucky to encounter yellow flags late on when on a personal best lap.
“It’s been a positive day after yesterday’s difficult one”
“It was a better day than yesterday and we were able to improve a little bit. It was a complicated qualifying as the conditions were really hot. We didn’t quite put our best lap together, and like a lot of other riders, we got quick unlucky with the yellow flags at the end. I could probably have improved a bit more at the end to get into the top 10 but overall, we’re not too far away. My pace can be better tomorrow and we’ll have a good rest tonight. Let’s see what the conditions are like for the race, but it’s been a positive day after yesterday’s difficult one. We’ll keep working. For sure, we need to make a step forward but we have a good direction to take.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 7th – 2’05.912
- Despite several minor changes to set-up made overnight, Tony was unable to improve his time enough to make it through to Q2 automatically in P3, and was 17th overall.
- Yet the 23-year old showed typical character to top Q1, before setting the 7th fastest time of Q2 on his 1st flying lap of the session. In the end he was 0.6s off pole.
- Arbolino can ensure the title fight goes to the penultimate round of the season in Qatar by outscoring leader Pedro Acosta (6th on the grid) by 14 points tomorrow.
“I’ll try to go for the”
“It was a normal day in some aspects. We came through Q1 and I was quite strong in qualifying. Today we improved a lot. The lap time was much better compared to yesterday – the feeling as well. On my side, I felt my riding was a bit better. Our target now tomorrow is to be fast and to be competitive. If we can, I’ll try to go for the podium and the victory. Our mindset is always to show the best version of ourselves on Sunday and tomorrow we’ll try to do just that!”