Lowes and Arbolino keen to start final push in Sepang
A hectic and intense period for the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team is coming to an exciting climax, with the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia kicking off a season-ending triple header this weekend.
- Sepang is quickly followed by a return to Qatar ahead of the season finale in Valencia later this month, and Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino are determined to end 2023 in style.
- Action in round 18 this weekend gets underway with the opening practice session at 950am local time on Friday morning ahead of the 17-lap race on Sunday afternoon that is due to start at 1315pm.
/// SAM LOWES
- An emotional three weeks lie in store for Lowes, who has just three races remaining in his Moto2 career before he embarks on a hugely exciting new adventure with Elf Marc VDS Racing in the World Superbike Championship in 2024.
- A first top six finish at the fast and technical Sepang track is high on the agenda for Lowes this weekend, who is looking to add to his 26 Moto2 podiums in the final phase of his 10th campaign in the intermediate World Championship.
- A lack of strength with a serious left shoulder injury meant Lowes took the reluctant decision to withdraw from the action in Malaysia one year ago at the end of the opening day of practice.
“I want to finish my time in Moto2 in the best possible way”
“It was good to head home after the recent busy run and give myself the opportunity to recharge the batteries ahead of this final triple header. The last couple of races didn’t go how we planned them but sometimes that’s racing. If anything, it has made me look forward to this final part of the season even more because I want to finish my time in Moto2 in the best possible way. Sepang is a great circuit to ride and very technical and although my results don’t show it, I always have fun taking on the challenge here. I’ve been studying some past data with the team this week to understand where we can improve and where we need to work this weekend to be closer to where we want to be. My target is to be fighting for the top five and then make another step forward in Qatar and Valencia where I’ve always been fast.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO
- A 13th top six finish in 17 races last time out in the heat of humidity of Buriram in Thailand kept the Italian’s title hopes alive heading into this weekend’s latest round in Asia.
- Sepang’s fast and flowing layout has always suited Arbolino’s attacking riding style and he finished comfortably inside the top 10 in the 2018 and 2019 Moto3 battles.
- One of Arbolino’s six Moto2 victories came at Sepang last season when he prevailed in a tense and dramatic final lap showdown with Ai Ogura.
“It’s always good returning to a track where you won in the past”
“I’m ready for another race weekend and ready to try and finish 2023 with a strong triple header. I didn’t travel back to Europe after Buriram, but I have relaxed and recharged and feel motivated to build on the strong recent results we have achieved. The only focus is to keep pushing and fighting and showing our maximum level. I bring good vibes into this weekend after we had a very strong race here last year and it is always good to return to a circuit where you won in the past because it makes you want to feel that special taste again. Let’s see what happens but as always, I will be giving my all.”