Last gasp Arbolino to start from front of second row at Motegi
A late lap from Tony Arbolino was enough to qualify in fourth place in a wet Japan on Saturday, while a lack of dry running has led Sam Lowes to withdraw from tomorrow’s race.
- After near fully dry conditions on Friday, Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino contended with a wet morning session and qualifying at Motegi.
- The rain was so bad during Q2, the red flags were shown and the session was delayed for some time before riders returned to the track to complete the session.
/// SAM LOWES, 24th – 2’07.423
- The Briton showed some decent speed in the wet morning session, as he ended FP2 1.8s off the top time.
- Sam suffered a painful highside on the exit of turn four toward the end of Q1 but was largely OK after the fall.
- With a dry race expected tomorrow, Sam and the team felt it was best to withdraw from tomorrow’s running. A full-race distance would be difficult as he has not had enough dry track time to recover his feelings aboard the bike.
“I didn’t have much track time in the dry to get back a good feeling with the bike”
“Today was hard for me in wet conditions after not riding for so long. I’m still working to feel comfortable on the bike. I didn’t have much track time in the dry and couldn’t really get a good feeling with the bike, so tomorrow’s race would be difficult. After speaking to the team this afternoon, we both decided that it would be best to sit tomorrow’s race out so I can arrive in Thailand next week to push for a good result.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 4th – 2’05.891
- Despite the gloomy weather, Tony showed he was as comfortable in the wet conditions as he is in the dry and he set the second fastest time in FP2.
- Qualifying was not looking good as Tony initially rode with used tyres in the early minutes. When the red flags were shown, he was in P14. However, a superb late lap in the restarted session salvaged fourth place for his best qualifying result since the Spanish GP in May.
“I risked a lot to be in front. But it was a good risk”
“I’m really proud of this result. Before the red flag it was really, really difficult for me because P14 was so bad. After a strong Friday, starting from P14 would have been really bad for me. So on this last lap, I risked a lot to be in front. But it was a good risk and it’s a good way to be back toward the front of the grid! It’s the first wet conditions we’ve had for a while so I’m really happy for me and the team. We’re improving the feeling and I think I’m riding well. We’ll keep believing and a good result is coming without any doubt!”