Elf Marc VDS duo primed for Barcelona fightback after a challenging qualifying

Elf Marc VDS duo primed for Barcelona fightback after a challenging qualifying

With grip at a premium in punishingly high temperatures, Tony Arbolino qualified 14th and Filip Salac 17th for Sunday’s Catalan GP at the Circuit of Barcelona Catalunya.

  • Conditions were hot and sticky for the sixth Moto2 qualifying session of the year, as the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team’s Tony Arbolino and Filip Salac rode in track temperatures of 42 degrees.
  • The action at the scenic Catalan venue outside Barcelona starts on Sunday at 12:15 local time with the race taking place over 21 laps.


/// TONY ARBOLINO, 14th – 1’42.707

  • Practice 2, the first session of the day, was ultra-competitive with half a second covering the first eleven riders. Working on a number of small settings tweaks, Tony set the 14th fastest time of the morning.
  • But the Italian struggled in the afternoon, as the earlier changes didn’t work in the hotter temperatures. Despite getting faster as the session went on, Tony’s final time of the 15-minute Q2 was only good enough for 14th, 0.8s off pole.

“We chose the wrong strategy”

“That was a tough qualifying! We chose the wrong strategy and we waited too long in the pits. It wasn’t something we needed to do. Also, we understood a few things that we tried with the setting this morning but they weren’t working in the afternoon. We’ll go back to our setting from before and that’s it. Now we’re fully focussed on tomorrow. The goal is to try to fix the pace a bit with a few changes, start well and then do a good race. I’m confident we’ll get there.”

/// FILIP SALAC, 17th – 1’42.845

  • Following on from Friday, when he enjoyed good feelings on used rubber, Filip started the day well, setting fast times in his two runs. Despite placing 11th, he was just 0.4s off Sergio Garcia’s new lap record.
  • But a small mistake with strategy in Q2 meant Filip didn’t adapt to the tricky conditions as quickly as he’d have liked. His fastest time came on his final lap, but was 0.9s off the pole time.

“I wasn’t able to adapt to the conditions well”

“In the morning the feeling was good. I was fast and able to set a competitive lap time in both outings we did. Unfortunately, in the afternoon the conditions changed quite a bit. It was hotter and a bit windier. I didn’t execute our strategy perfectly as I did one lap and then was waiting after that. I wasn’t able to adapt to the conditions well. I want to say sorry to the team for this mistake as I know we can do much better. But the race is tomorrow so let’s see how that goes. I’ll give it my all and I’m sure we can still fight for a decent result.”