Arbolino in the groove on first day of French GP

Arbolino in the groove on first day of French GP

Tony Arbolino set the 10th fastest time on Friday at Le Mans while showing impressive rhythm in the morning session, while Filip Salac recovered from a crash to place 14th.

  • The iconic Le Mans circuit hosted the first day of the French Grand Prix with some of the grandstands around the 4.19km full from the morning FP session.
  • Conditions were uncharacteristically perfect for Friday’s running with Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Tony Arbolino and Filip Salac enjoying clear skies throughout, with track temperatures peaking at 37 degrees in the afternoon Practice 1.

/// TONY ARBOLINO, 10th – 1’36.184

  • Carrying momentum from a one-day test at Jerez, Tony produced a strong morning performance in Free Practice, when he strung together eleven laps in the 1’36s (ten were consecutive laps) as he placed 9th.
  • The 23-year old worked on engine braking during the day as well as electronics settings to improve the braking area and corner entry and gain consistency when opening the throttle. He finished P1 just 0.7s off the fastest lap of the day.

“I felt a lot of speed in the second”

“It was an important first day. I felt a lot of speed in the second session and I was closer to the front. But in the last lap I had a big moment in sector 3 so I wasn’t able to finish the lap as I wanted. Anyway, I feel closer than we were in Jerez. We’re just missing two or three tenths to be with the fastest guys. So overall, it’s quite positive. Tomorrow will be a better day for sure and I’m focussed on making a bigger step to be back in the positions where we want to be.”

/// FILIP SALAC, 14th – 1’36.314

  • Filip started the day well despite encountering a small technical issue early by returning to track in FP, and placing 12th.
  • When pushing for a fast time in Practice 1, Filip suffered a fall at Turn 11 midway through the session. Nevertheless, the Czech rider recovered to 14th on his penultimate lap with 0.8s to make up to the fastest rider.

“I’m feeling quite confident”

“It wasn’t a bad day for us here in Le Mans. I’m feeling quite confident. Unfortunately, in the first practice session we had a small technical issue. Then in the second when we put in softer tyres to make a time-attack I had a fast crash. Then I was able to bring the bike back to the box and the team did an amazing job to repair the bike and allow me to get back on track and have another go. At the moment we’re in Q2 so I’m quite happy, especially considering we had a crash. I’m sure tomorrow we’ll do even better.”