Arbolino fourth, Lowes grits teeth in qualifying for Australian GP
Tony Arbolino took his eighth top four qualifying spot this year in an eventful afternoon at Phillip Island, while Sam Lowes was a solid twelfth after suffering a fast crash in FP3.
- After a blustery start to the weekend, conditions improved significantly for qualifying day at the world-famous Phillip Island Circuit with the wind much reduced.
- The Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino had already set their quickest times of the day when Moto2 qualifying was red flagged with 30 seconds remaining due to two geese walking across the track at turn eight!
/// SAM LOWES, 12th – 1’33.040
- Sam had upped his speed in FP3 by 0.7s before crashing out at over 100mph at turn eight with just a handful of minutes remaining. He still qualified for Q2 automatically as he ended the session in 14th.
- After undergoing medical checks, Lowes was passed fit for qualifying and he duly posted his fastest lap of the weekend by 0.8s!“It isn’t so bad considering how I’m feeling”
“It wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed qualifying and felt quite good. The conditions have changed a lot this weekend. There was less wind in qualifying and this was good for me. I feel quite sore. I’m still recovering and then I had a strange crash this morning, when I wasn’t really pushing. So my arm is not feeling that powerful. In qualifying it took me a while to get into it and I couldn’t use the full potential of the new tyre. But overall, I’m quite happy. I was just a couple of tenths off the second row, which isn’t so bad considering how I’m feeling. We’re a lot more competitive this weekend that Thailand. I think we’ll go for the softer front tyre option tomorrow. We’ve done a lot of laps on it this weekend and the temperature is going to be quite fresh as well. We’ll try and manage with a full fuel tank in the early laps and then see. It’s hard to know what the race pace will be because we’ve been going faster in each session. Phillip Island always comes down to saving the tyre for the end. It’ll be physical but we’re looking forward to it!”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 4th – 1’32.721
- Thanks to some small changes to set-up, Tony immediately felt better around the fast 4.4km Phillip Island layout in FP3, and set the seventh quickest time.
- The 22-year old was immediately on the pace in qualifying, a session in which Tony gained useful feedback for his race set-up. He ended just 0.488s from pole position.
“I will push like hell to be in front”
“I’m happy with the second row for tomorrow’s race. In qualifying we really understood the only thing we need to improve on the bike, which is something on the front end. We need to analyse the data so we know what to change to improve that particular aspect of set-up. But it looks like we have a good feeling in the fastest corners. I still need to improve a bit in the slow ones. We need to stay focussed on tomorrow’s race. We don’t know how the wind will be so we have to believe we can do a good race, have the best pace possible and try to push like hell to be in front!”