Arbolino to attack Argentine GP from front row
After a herculean early morning effort by the Elf Marc VDS team to prepare bikes for Saturday’s action, Tony Arbolino qualified a brilliant third, while Sam Lowes will start Sunday’s race from eleventh on the grid.
- In a unique situation, Saturday was the first day of on-track action at the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit after Friday’s running was cancelled due to issues delivering bikes and equipment to the track in the north of Argentina.
- Elf Marc VDS Racing was one of four Moto2 teams who had no bikes or equipment at the track before Friday night. After a delivery at 2am, the team put in a heroic effort, arriving at the track at 4.00am to prepare the bikes and the pit box for Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino.
- In a revised schedule, all Moto2 riders had just two 50-minute free practice sessions to prepare set-up before the second qualifying session, which got underway at 15.10.
/// SAM LOWES, 11th , 1’43.787
- In the morning, Sam found a dirty track with low grip. Having made tweaks to his front suspension and rear shock, he used one set of tyres in each free practice session to assess his rhythm, and posted the tenth fastest time overall.
- In qualifying, the 31-year old didn’t feel comfortable setting a fast lap, but feels he can challenge for the podium on Sunday if he makes some set-up improvements in heavy braking areas.
“I’m missing a little bit of lap time, but my pace is quite good”
“First, I want to thank the team for their outstanding work through the night. I’m happy Tony could do a nice qualifying today to say thank you to them. I’m OK. I didn’t feel very good in the qualifying session. I’m missing a little bit of lap time, but my pace is quite good. I’m sure we can look at a few things tonight and I can improve a little bit and tomorrow we’ll be stronger. We’re not so far from the front. If we improve the stopping of the bike, I think we can make a nice race. The podium still isn’t out of reach, so we’re looking forward to challenging for that.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 3rd, 1’43.513
- In FP1, Tony and his team worked to improve turning performance in the middle of the corners. It worked, and the Italian set a time that was good enough for fourth in the combined free practice standings.
- After some unsuccessful set-up changes in FP2, Tony reverted to his FP1 settings for qualifying. The Italian was immediately fast and his personal best time on his fourth lap of eight was enough for third place – his second front row start in three races.
“The bike was working so well in qualifying”
“Honestly, I’m happy with qualifying. FP2 was worse than we expected. We tried some things in that session but after that we changed it back. The bike was working so well in qualifying. I tried to just get into the flow and get the maximum, and this is what happened. This first row is for the team because they did an incredible job last night. Let’s see the race tomorrow but of course we’re starting at the front, so that should be better for us in the first laps. I’m happy about that. We’ll keep going, keep growing up and keep improving the feeling on the bike. This is what we need to do.”