Elf Marc VDS Racing Team continues pre-season prep in Portimao
Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino started to put the finishing touches to their preparations for the 2023 Moto2 World Championship campaign at Portugal’s spectacular Algarve International Circuit today.
- Fresh from an incredibly productive two-day test in Jerez earlier this week, the pair were back on track logging more crucial development kilometres on the new Triumph engine and Kalex chassis they will race when the new season starts in Portimao on March 26.
- Lowes and Arbolino will be on track tomorrow and Sunday carrying out vital fine-tuning work on their machine settings to complete the pre-season.
/// SAM LOWES: 4th, 1:43.064, 52 laps
- Eager to build on his excellent performance in the Jerez test, the key focus for Lowes and his crew today was to find the optimum setting with the 2023 technical package from Triumph and Kalex around the challenging 4.5km Portimao layout.
- The Briton was satisfied with the progress made during the day, but late rain prevented him from completing a planned evaluation of new front-end settings in the final session.
- Just as he was in Jerez, Lowes was right in the heart of the battle for the top positions, and he ended proceedings in a strong fourth place with a best time of 1:43.064.
“We made good steps throughout the day”
“We came to Portimao looking forward to getting this final test underway after two very good days in Jerez. It was also going to be useful as well coming to such a completely different track like Portimao and this first day was all about just getting a feeling and understanding for this layout with the new package we have for 2023. Today was mainly concentrating on finding the right balance with the new engine and the new chassis and I feel like we made some good steps throughout the day. We had some more plans to try a couple of changes to the front of the bike at the end of the day but unfortunately a bit of rain prevented us from doing that. I feel we have a good base set-up already at this track and that allows us to try a few parts tomorrow that we looked at in Jerez, so we can give a definitive yes or no for the season ahead. I was consistent today and that was pleasing, and we will work hard again tomorrow before putting what we think is the best package together on the final day to see where we are against the competition.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO: 10th, 1:43.323, 48 laps
- Arbolino used his time on track today to experiment with a range of different settings as he also focused exclusively on improving his pace on the new 2023 race package.
- With the pursuit of a fast lap time firmly on the backburner while he worked on setting and riding style tweaks, Arbolino was still able to set a pace that placed him inside the top 10.
- The Italian set his best time of 1:43.323 in the third and final session of the day having gone well over half-a-second quicker than his previous best in the opening two outings.
“We’re working hard to be ready for the first race”
“Today was another good day for us and we were able to improve my feeling on the bike. I already made a small step compared to the Jerez test just a few days ago but a couple of things we tried didn’t take us in the direction we hoped. But that is why this test is so important because it is a great opportunity to understand what works and what doesn’t before the season starts. We are confident that we know which way to go to make me more comfortable and confident and the crew is working very hard to make sure we are ready for the first race. That’s when it really matters to perform at the best level.”