Arbolino turns it around to qualify seventh in Spielberg
Tony Arbolino shrugged off a fast crash in P3 to book a place on the third row for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, while Sam Lowes has work to do starting from 14th.
- After looming clouds and the threat of rain throughout Friday, Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino rode under clear, sunny skies for qualifying on Saturday.
- The conditions posed a challenge, however, with track temperatures rising to 33 degrees in the afternoon, which were among the hottest of the weekend so far.
/// SAM LOWES 14th – 1’35.197
- After missing last year’s event here, Sam continued to gain valuable experience on his first visit to this track’s new layout, which was changed for 2022. The 32-year old was consistent in P3, posting four laps in the 1’34s, and finishing 12th.
- The Briton faced a challenging qualifying session however, as he had three laps cancelled before suffering a crash at Turn 10 late on. Sam was fast in Sectors 3 and 4 all day, and will now work with his team to improve his feeling in Sectors 1 and 2.
“We’ll focus on doing a couple of strong first laps and get into our rhythm”
“Today was a difficult day. I didn’t do a good lap in qualifying and had a crash as well. After yesterday afternoon, I’m missing some laps this weekend. We need to pick the best set-up direction for the bike tomorrow. We’ll try and focus on doing a couple of strong first laps and get into our rhythm. We’re missing a bit of feeling in a few places on the track so we need to analyse everything well tonight and see if we can make strong progress in the race. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow. I want to thank the team for all their hard work and we’ll keep trying!”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 7th – 1’34.728
- Tony’s morning was complicated by a fast crash at Turn 7, which brought his session to an early end. Thankfully the Italian was OK, but he only managed to complete 6 laps in P3.
- The 23-year old came out swinging in Q2 however, and was immediately vying for a spot in the top six. Tony set his fastest time on his seventh and final lap of the session, and was just 0.28s back of qualifying on the front row.
“I’m going to push and attack”
“It wasn’t an easy day, mainly because of the crash in P3. It didn’t give me a lot of confidence to push with a new tyre. So, I didn’t have the best feeling when I came into qualifying. The result isn’t so bad. I am not so far from the front row, which is the most important thing. We need to see if we can find something extra for tomorrow to improve a bit in the area where we’re struggling. We need to work this afternoon. I always believe in my crew to give me the best bike possible for the race and I always believe in myself on Sunday. I’m starting from 7th so I need to decide on the strategy for tomorrow and find a bit more pace. For sure, I’m going to push and attack!”