Arbolino fifth fastest on fast Friday at Spielberg

Arbolino fifth fastest on fast Friday at Spielberg

Tony Arbolino felt he made a step in the right direction as he ended the first day of the Austrian Grand Prix in fifth place, while Sam Lowes suffered a crash in P2 and finished 14th.

  • The fabulous Red Bull Ring plays host to the Austrian Grand Prix and the 10th round of 2023 this weekend. Saturday’s qualifying kicks off at 13:45.
  • Despite rain clouds threatening through the afternoon, the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders enjoyed fully dry conditions both of Friday’s practice sessions, with P2 taking place in ambient temperatures of 33 degrees.


  • Sam had decent feelings onboard his bike in P1, when he finished 13th. During the lunch break, his team changed the geometry of the bike to gain greater stability under braking in P2.
  • But the Briton’s afternoon session came to an early end after he suffered a get off on the entry to the Turn 2 chicane. Sam took a heavy blow to his left shoulder in the fall and was taken to the medical centre after. But the 32-year old was declared fit for the rest of the weekend.

“We can make a big improvement tomorrow” 

“This afternoon ended in unfortunate circumstances and being honest I just made a silly mistake. I was on used tyres and crashed in the chicane and that stopped me from getting in the number of laps I needed. This morning wasn’t bad at all, and it didn’t take me long to adjust to the revised first sector, which I’d never ridden before after missing last year’s race. I feel we can make a big improvement tomorrow given the limited track time I had today. We have a few things to try on the bike and I’m confident that will make a difference and I also need to improve myself in a couple of parts of the track to be more competitive. Overall, it was a challenging day but there are definitely some positive points that we can look to improve tomorrow morning.”


  • After a fruitful one-day test at Silverstone, Tony immediately felt more comfortable here than he did during the British GP. That was reflected in the times, as he placed 5th and 4th in P1 and P2.
  • In the afternoon, Tony tried a number of settings to improve his feeling with the front of the bike and braking stability and is feeling confident ahead of Saturday.

“We still need to improve to get closer to the front”

“I felt really good today. We were improving and trying to find a better feeling compared to Silverstone. We’ve made a good step and I was a lot more comfortable on the bike. We still need to think about a few things we can improve tomorrow to get closer to the front. I’m talking about the general feeling of the bike, nothing more. If we can do that then it will be interesting to see where we can qualify tomorrow. But overall, I’m quite happy.”