Elf Marc VDS Racing riders battle mixed weather in Assen
The beginning of the second half of the 2022 Moto2 World Championship saw Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino experience mixed conditions and mixed fortunes at the legendary Assen track in the Netherlands today.
- Both finished inside the top six with a strong showing in a rain-hit FP1 session this morning and as conditions improved for FP2, Lowes and Arbolino featured prominently in a full dry FP2 that ended with the top 20 riders split by just over a second.
- More favourable conditions are anticipated for the remainder of the weekend, with Lowes and Arbolino fighting for a direct place in Q2 in tomorrow morning’s decisive FP3, which starts at 1055am local time.
/// SAM LOWES: 18th, 1:38.425, 29 laps
- The confidence gained from an excellent podium in Germany last weekend was immediately put to good use in this morning’s wet FP1 and Lowes used his experience to steadily build his speed before a last lap of 1:47.272 moved him into the top six.
- The Briton was looking as equally competitive in dry conditions this afternoon, but his impressive progress was halted by a crash at turn four on just his ninth lap, which he walked away from unscathed.
“I’m confident we can be much stronger”
“Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be a very good day. I felt strong with Dunlop’s new rear rain tyre, so that was a positive this morning. The crash in FP2 though was disappointing because it meant we only did a small number of laps in the best conditions of the day, so we’re playing a bit of catch up going into tomorrow. The important thing is I wasn’t hurt and thankfully it looks like tomorrow and Sunday we are going to have dry weather. If it is wet, I felt strong this morning but if it’s dry then we have some improvements to make, but I’m confident we can be stronger as the grip levels get better.”
/// SAM LOWES: 13th, 1:38.180, 37 laps
- Arbolino was in sensational form in treacherous conditions this morning and a late attack on a slippery surface powered him into P1 before a personal best of 1:47.123 placed him less than 0.1s away from the top three in a strong fifth.
- The Italian was knocking on the door of the top six again this afternoon and he will work closely with his crew to find improvements with front feeling in the fast and technical third sector going into tomorrow’s action.
“I felt good today in both the wet and dry”
“It was a challenging day because we faced completely different conditions in both sessions. I felt good this morning in the wet and in the dry for FP2, but I didn’t put all the sectors together to find one strong lap. I have good pace in all splits, but I need to be a bit more consistent. Sector three is where I’m losing the most at the moment. That is a very fast part of Assen where you can easily lose time, so improving in that area will be a big target for tomorrow. It looks like tomorrow will be dry and that gives us the opportunity to fix some of the issues we are having with the front feeling.”