Arbolino mounts strong recovery in Thai qualifying
After a fast crash in P3 which caused him to miss much of the session, Tony Arbolino came through Q1 to qualify a solid 8th at the Chang International Circuit while Sam Lowes was 14th.
- In keeping with Friday’s running, Saturday’s conditions were extremely testing for Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino in Thailand, who had to ride in afternoon ambient temperatures of 32 degrees and 59% humidity.
- Despite spits of rain falling through Moto3 qualifying, the rain clouds steered clear of the 4.5km Chang International Circuit, meaning the Moto2 class rode in dry conditions throughout.
/// SAM LOWES, 14th – 1’36.076
- Suffering from a lack of feel from his front tyre on Friday, Sam focussed on some set-up changes in P3, when he improved his Friday time by 0.577s but placed 17th in combined practice, necessitating a trip through Q1.
- The Briton then dug in for Q1, where he improved his previous best time this weekend by nearly half a second to finish 3rd. Sam was then unlucky to catch a yellow flag at the start of Q2, which meant his fastest lap time was cancelled. In the end he was 14th, 0.705s off pole.
“We made a good improvement from yesterday”
“I’m a little bit disappointed with qualifying because it was so close. I wasn’t able to put my first lap together due to a yellow flag. But we made a good improvement from yesterday, so this is positive. The pace also seems OK for the race. We have to stay relaxed, stay confident and see what we can do tomorrow. For sure, it won’t be easy. But we know that we can definitely move forward from where we are and try to score some points.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 8th – 1’35.963
- Tony’s day got off to a complicated start as he crashed out at Turn 4 at the start of P3. Thanks to the splendid work of his crew, the Italian got out for the final minutes of the session but was unable to improve his time, meaning he ended combined practice 22nd.
- But the 23-year old came out swinging in qualifying, setting the 2nd best time in Q1. He couldn’t quite match that personal best time in Q2, but managed to qualify 8th, just 0.273s off a place on the front row.
“The crash didn’t allow us to improve the feeling on the bike”
“A complicated day. The crash this morning didn’t allow us to improve the feeling on the bike. Maybe without that fall, we’d have been able to go faster this afternoon. Anyway, we’re starting from P8 tomorrow, which isn’t so bad. We’ve started from this position many times this year! I think we’re still missing a bit of pace, as well as one or two small details with the set-up compared to the guys on the front row. But tomorrow is another day. Let’s see if we can improve our rhythm a little bit and keep it until the final laps. Like always, we’ll give it everything!”