Elf Marc VDS Racing Team kick off 2023 Moto2 preparations in Jerez
Less than two weeks away from the start of the 2023 Moto2 World Championship, Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino stepped up their pre-season preparations with a successful two-day test session at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto in the Andalusia region of Spain.
- The pair completed a mammoth 284 laps between them as sunny and warm conditions helped the pair reacquaint themselves with their Triumph-powered Kalex machinery after the long winter break.
- Lowes and Arbolino begin their final winter test outing this Friday with a three-day session at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal, which hosts the opening round of an intense 21-round season on March 26.
/// SAM LOWES: 4th, 1:41.851, 146 laps
- Fully recovered from the serious left shoulder injury that badly disrupted the final nine races of the 2022 campaign, Lowes tested his physical condition to the maximum with 146 laps completed during the test.
- The main focus for the 32-year-old was to understand the performance of the new Triumph 765cc three-cylinder engine, which features an upgrade from 14,000 to 14,400 revs for the forthcoming season.
- The Briton was also able to assess the new 2023 Kalex chassis and he showed excellent speed and consistency on Dunlop’s soft and hard rear tyre options to finish fourth on the timesheets with a quickest lap of 1:41.851.
“I don’t think this test could have gone much better”
“I’m so happy with how the test has gone, particularly from a physical point of view. I’ve worked really hard in the off-season on the shoulder, and everything feels normal on the bike. I was able to do a lot of laps on both days with some long runs, so from a physical perspective it was only positives. I haven’t been able to ride a bike properly since I first got the injury in early August last year, so it was a great feeling. The second day here has been very important because we got to assess the new engine and chassis together and obviously they are hugely important components that we need to fully understand. I also had some suspension parts from Ohlins, so it has been an intense test but a successful one. I would say 90 per cent of what we tried felt like an improvement, so we have finished the test in a good way. We now move to Portimao for the final test and that is a completely different track to Jerez, so it will be good to understand how well the new parts work there. But I had a good rhythm with no real issues in Jerez, so I don’t think this test could have gone much better.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO: 2nd, 1:41.732, 138 laps
- A hot streak of three podiums in the last four races of 2022, including two wins in Thailand and Malaysia, meant Arbolino was relishing the opportunity to get back to work at the Jerez test in readiness for the 2023 campaign.
- Initially getting back up to speed on last year’s Kalex machine, Arbolino spent the whole of the second day on track in Jerez working on the upgraded Triumph engine and revised Kalex frame.
- Constant progress was made throughout the test in terms of front feeling and Arbolino was once again one of the main protagonists with a best lap of 1:41.732 placing him in a superb second place.
“I’m positive we’ll be strong from the first race”
“It has been a very good test for me, and it felt great to be back with my crew again. The first day we worked a lot on myself getting back into the rhythm and being as best prepared as we can be for the first race in Portugal. The second day was very positive because it was the first chance for me to try the complete new package for 2023 and I was very happy with the performance we found. I felt comfortable with the race pace, and I think there is definitely some margin for us to improve with the time attack. We understand we can find more improvements with more time on the bike but this first test has gone very well. I’m positive we are going to be strong from the first race.”