Arbolino finds Saturday speed to qualify 8th
Tony Arbolino improved significantly on his personal best time from Friday to qualify in 8th for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, while Sam Lowes was 12th.
- After riding in warm, sunny conditions throughout Friday, the weather was considerably cooler on Saturday with ambient temperatures dropping to 18 degrees and the skies overcast throughout.
- Sunday’s forecast doesn’t look too promising, with rain and high winds expected. The schedule has therefore been adjusted. Now the Moto2 class will have a 10-minute warm up session at 8:40 local time before the 23-lap race gets underway at the new time of 11:15.
/// SAM LOWES, 12th – 1’33.070
- Having made a few overnight changes to set-up to improve rear traction, Sam was among the names showing podium potential in P3, when he placed 6th and set 6 laps in the 1’32s/1’33s.
- Along with his team-mate, Sam opted for a one-stop strategy in Q2. He posted his fastest time at the start of his second run on a new rear tyre. Pushing on to improve in the final minutes, Sam suffered an unfortunate fall at Turn 4.
“I felt too much movement and we weren’t where we need to be”
“It wasn’t a good qualifying session for us and I didn’t feel good on the bike. I felt like we made a step this morning. Then in the afternoon I felt similar. I thought I could do better with the one-off lap time but I didn’t. I made a small mistake, which is a shame but let’s see for tomorrow. The schedule looks a bit strange. I think riding at 8 o’clock in the morning is a bit a nonsense to be honest but let’s see what they do, and what the weather’s like. I don’t really agree with the scheduling but it’s the same for everybody. I need to find a better feeling so I can stay a bit more on the right line. This afternoon I felt too much movement and we weren’t where we need to be.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 8th – 1’32.888
- After sampling some set-up changes to help his front feeling in the fast corners in P3, Tony got down to a competitive pace late on, with his best time good enough for 5th.
- Like Sam, Tony chose a one-stop strategy in qualifying, and was able to take advantage of a new tyre on the first lap of his second run. His fastest time was 0.861s faster than his Friday best.
“I haven’t felt so great here all weekend”
“It seems like P8 is the average starting position for me in recent races! Honestly, I haven’t felt so great here all weekend. I’m missing a bit of front feeling through the fast corners. Even today we weren’t able to make a big step with regards to the feeling. But our time wasn’t bad. Let’s see the conditions tomorrow. I’m not sure how it will be and whether we’ll be able to ride. But we’ll check the weather tomorrow morning. I’m motivated to face whatever conditions we’ll have.”