Arbolino rescues second row start at COTA
Tony Arbolino brushed off a crash at the beginning of Q2 to eventually qualify fourth for the Grand Prix of the Americas, while Sam Lowes ended the day ninth.
- Thanks to extensive track resurfacing, the challenging 5.5km Circuit of the Americas layout is a good deal easier to ride with many of the serious bumps that were present during the 2021 race now smoothed out.
- Elf Marc VDS Racing Team team-mates Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino enjoyed perfect conditions for Moto2 qualifying at 13.00 local time, with track temperatures of 45 degrees.
/// SAM LOWES, 9th – 2’09.900 s.
- Sam had a solid start to the day and was pushing for a fast time in the closing minutes of FP3 when he had a fast crash at turn 17. Thankfully, the Briton was unhurt.
- The 31-year old was still struggling to find optimum feeling in qualifying but with a few changes to his set-up and riding style, Sam believes he has the rhythm to challenge for the top five places on Sunday.
“I think our pace isn’t so far off”
“It was a strange qualifying. We know if you get some yellow flags it’s difficult because this is a long lap and the 15-minute session is short. I didn’t put a good lap together. We’re still missing a bit of something but hopefully we can change the bike a bit tonight and find a better feeling. The team is doing a very good job and I think our pace isn’t so far off. I’m looking forward to the race. We starting from the third row. With a good start we can have a nice race from there and expect to fight for the top five. We’ll make some changes, improve the bike a bit and I need to work on my riding in a couple of sectors. We’ll have a good sleep tonight and look forward to a good race.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 4th – 2’09.329 s.
- A fan of the COTA layout, Tony replicated his excellent Friday speed in FP3, and set the fourth fastest time of the morning.
- It was an all-action qualifying performance from the Italian, who suffered a crash at turn eight just seven minutes into Q2. Tony remounted, and after having a fast time cancelled due to yellow flags, rescued fourth place with his final lap of the session.
“I did everything to keep the qualifying alive”
“It was a shame that I crashed on my first fast lap! I was feeling good and trying to start as close to the front of the grid as possible. I was on the limit with the front so I crashed. After I got up to keep the bike going and did everything to keep the qualifying alive. Actually, I was impressed that I did a lap good enough for the front row, but they cancelled it. I didn’t expect to finish so toward the front so I want to thank my team. They believed in me until the end. I’m really happy and want to thank everybody. Tomorrow will be an amazing race.”