Lowes and Arbolino inside the top eleven after first day in Barcelona
Sam Lowes was 8th and Tony Arbolino 11th in a highly competitive Friday at the spectacular Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya.
- As the Catalan summer comes to an end, conditions were predictably hot and sticky on Friday. Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino rode in 65% humidity and track temperatures of 43 degrees in the afternoon.
- Times were incredibly close throughout the first day of running, with just 0.458s covering the first eleven riders at the close of P2.
/// SAM LOWES, 8th – 1’45.107
- Making his 9th Moto2 appearance at this track, Sam was fast out of the blocks on Friday morning, finishing 6th in P1. He improved his personal best time by 0.053s in P2 to end the day just 0.303s off overall pace setter Ai Ogura.
- The 32-year old is relatively happy with his bike’s setting, but is keen to improve his feeling in corner entry ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session.
“In some corners I’m just missing the line a bit”
“It was a nice first day. I always enjoy coming here – it’s a beautiful track to ride. It’s always quite complicated, not because the grip is low but in the hot temperatures this afternoon it was quite greasy. I’m happy with where we improved today. We tried something on the bike in the afternoon so tonight we’re going to look and see if we can plan the direction for tomorrow. In some corners I’m just missing the line a bit, which is then causing me to have too much lean angle when I get on the gas. If I can anticipate the corner entry a bit better, then I’ll be able to improve in corner exit. I think we can find the way for the set-up, but we need to decide on some small adjustments. If the team can meet me half way, with me improving a bit, and the bike improving a bit, then we can have a good day tomorrow.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 11th – 1’45.262
- Now a resident in Catalunya, Tony started his second home GP well. The Italian was ninth in P1, less than half a second off the fastest time, while working to improve the stability of the bike, especially in corner entry and mid-corner.
- But in the hotter afternoon temperatures, Tony struggled with a lack of rear grip. This is an area the 23-year old and his crew will work on this evening.
“I can’t accelerate how I want to”
“Of course, it wasn’t our best day of the year. We have to think about how we can extract the lap time and how we can make things work a bit better. We are trying to find some small details that will have a big impact on my overall feeling. That’s what we need to work on this evening. We don’t have the best feeling with the rear grip, so it’s important we find a way because we normally don’t suffer there. I’m missing something and it’s difficult to manage the bike because I can’t accelerate how I want to. That’s something we need to check tonight but I’m confident we can improve it.”