Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders start Italian challenge inside top ten
Tony Arbolino and Sam Lowes placed 8th and 9th respectively at the end of the first day at Mugello, with both men eyeing improvements for Saturday.
- After a lengthy three-week break, the sixth round of the Moto2 kicked off at the fabulous Mugello racetrack in Tuscany, Italy. Riders enjoyed two dry sessions, with track temperatures rising to 45 degrees in the afternoon P2.
- Qualifying day starts for the Moto2 class with P3 at 09:25 on Saturday before the all-important Q1 (13:45) and Q2 (14:10) sessions deciding Sunday’s grid.
/// SAM LOWES, 9th – 1’51.830
- The 32-year old wasn’t feeling 100% on Friday, and was suffering from a headache and some nausea. Nevertheless, Sam enjoyed a solid start to the day, placing 8th in P1 despite a low-speed crash at Turn 1 mid-way through the session.
- In the afternoon the Briton lacked a bit of front-end feel, and set the 16th fastest time in P2 (9th overall thanks to his P1 time) after 17 laps. Rectifying this will be the priority on this Friday evening.
“Honestly, I didn’t feel great today – not on the bike. But I’ve had a headache and feel a bit sick. It was worse in P1 than in P2. Still in P2 I was a bit tired. We changed set-up direction but I was missing a bit of strength. We tried some things on the bike in the afternoon, but maybe my comments weren’t perfect, so we went in a bit of a wrong direction. But on the last exit on used tyres I felt a little better. I think we have a good direction for tomorrow, to make the bike longer to give me more stability, a better feeling on the corner exit, and better front-end feeling. Hopefully it’s dry in FP3. We were quite consistent even feeling like I was. It’s only the first day, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow!”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 8th – 1’51.730
- The current Moto2 championship leader arrived at his home round full of confidence and enjoyed a steady start in P1, finishing 7th.
- Tony lacked a little feeling in general with his bike in P2, meaning it took him longer than normal to find a consistent rhythm. Nonetheless he was 4th fastest at the end of the session and feels the potential is there to score a good result on Sunday.
“We are losing just a bit but in all the corners”
“It was much better for us this afternoon than the morning. We were focussed on some settings which we saw weren’t working on the bike. We took one way to try and improve our feeling. It looks like that way is working. Tomorrow we’ll make another step in this direction to try and be even faster. I’d say we need to improve the general feeling with the bike, rather than a specific area. We are losing just a bit but in all the corners, which makes us a bit slower. But I know we have a lot of potential – this is one thing I’m not worried about. There is still a long way to go until Sunday so I feel we’re in a good way. I’m confident the team knows what we need to do and I’m sure we’ll make another step tomorrow.”