Arbolino to start Austin charge from eighth
For the third race in succession, Tony Arbolino will start a Moto2 race from eighth on the grid after an eventful qualifying session at the Circuit of the Americas while a crash left Sam Lowes in 18th.
- Like Friday, time on a fully dry track was limited for Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino as they encountered a damp track with numerous wet patches in the morning P3 session.
- Temperatures and humidity shot up for the afternoon, changing the grip characteristics of the 5.5km Circuit of the Americas. Riders had to contend with track temperatures of 44 degrees and 67% humidity for Q2, comfortably the hottest conditions of the weekend.
/// SAM LOWES, 18th – no time set
- Once the track dried in P3, Sam showcased some strong one-lap speed. The Briton had just set the seventh quickest time before suffering a slow speed crash at turn 13 in the closing minutes.
- Sam was then determined to post his best qualifying performance of the year, but lost the front end through turn nine early into Q2 and was unable to set a time after that.
“Today was a disaster but I’m sure we can still get a good finish”
“Today was a disaster as I made the mistake on the first lap of qualifying. I clipped the kerb, lost the front and then the bike rolled over so I couldn’t get back on it and get a lap in. Overall, I feel quite good on the bike. The team has done a great job through the weekend. But we really need to improve on Saturday, even if today was an extreme case. Once again, we have good rhythm for the race. So tomorrow we need to start well and do a good first three laps, then stay focussed, save the tyre and keep a consistent pace to the end. I’m sure we can still get a good finish and some good points before we go back to Europe.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 8th – 2’09.862
- The victor at this track last year, Tony showed similarly strong rhythm in P3, posting six laps in the 2’09/2’10s, as many as any other rider. He ended the morning with the third fastest time.
- Tony didn’t feel entirely comfortable in Q2 however, but still found himself just 0.43s off the pole position. This is the third consecutive race in which Tony has qualified eighth, and the Italian is sure he can make rapid early progress in tomorrow’s race.
“We’re missing a tiny bit of speed in qualifying”
“Up until now, it hasn’t been a bad weekend. We’ll start from P8 again, like the first two races. We’re missing a tiny bit of speed in qualifying so we need to focus on finding why so we can improve something for the next races. But honestly, I feel we can reach a good level in tomorrow’s race. We have all day to think about it and come up with a plan. The key point will be the track temperature as it will drop a bit and be cooler than today. We need to understand that situation before we make any changes to the bike. But other than that, I’m confident we can perform well like we did in Portimao and Argentina, where we also started from the third row.”