Lowes aiming to be in podium fight from fifth on the grid
A strong late effort from Sam Lowes put him fifth on the grid for Sunday’s Dutch TT while Tony Arbolino will fight through the pack after qualifying 10th.
- Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders enjoyed perfect conditions for qualifying day at the TT Circuit Assen and rode under blue skies and track temperatures of 43 degrees.
- Both men will be aiming to end the first part of the season on a high by challenging for the podium in Sunday’s 24-lap Moto2 race, which will get underway at 12.15 local time.
/// SAM LOWES, 5th – 1’36.528
- Having made significant changes to his set-up on Friday, Sam felt comfortable on used tyres in Saturday morning’s P3 session, when he finished 8th.
- After building himself up in Q2, Sam set his best time on the 6th lap of the session, which was good enough for 5th, just 0.281s off pole position. Yellow flags were shown at the end of the session, meaning the 32-year-old couldn’t improve further.
“I feel like my pace is pretty competitive”
“I’m quite happy with that. The first run in qualifying was on a used tyre and the lap time was not so bad. We’ve slowly improved over the weekend. It’s maybe been a little harder than some other rounds we’ve had recently, especially at this track, which is one that I like. But 5th place on the grid means I can do a good race. We changed the bike a bit before qualifying and I think I preferred the bike I rode this morning, so we have a good direction to go in tomorrow. I feel like my pace is pretty competitive so the plan is to get a good start, go with the group and see where we are.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 10th – 1’36.738
- Despite making some adjustments to his settings overnight, Tony was still struggling to make up time in Sectors 3 and 4 at the TT Circuit Assen in P3. But a late lap from the Italian secured a spot in the top 14 by finishing 11th.
- Tony posted 9 flying laps in Q2, with his quickest time of the day coming on the fourth circuit. 10th wasn’t below the Italian’s expectations, but he is already planning his now customary fightback from the middle of the fourth row.
“I always believe in podiums and victories”
“We can say that I didn’t have my best feeling of the year today. But we know we still have time to get some feeling back before Sunday’s race. That’s my target. The crew are working like hell and I have to appreciate that. I will return this effort that they’ve put in tomorrow for sure. I’m not feeling so comfortable in certain points on the track. We need to be focussed on that to see where we can improve. But it is what it is. We’re starting from 10th. We’ve started from there in previous races when the feeling was not great. So, I’ll start making sure I’m mentally prepared for tomorrow and to see where we can be strong. I know I’ll be good in the braking points, so I’ll try to use this as an advantage. The goal for the race is difficult to say. I always believe in podiums and victories. This is my mindset. But I will try to adapt to conditions in the race.”