Lowes and Arbolino kick off final preparations in Portimao

Lowes and Arbolino kick off final preparations in Portimao

The Elf Marc VDS Racing Team continued the countdown to Qatar today with Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino on track at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal for the start of the pre-season’s only official test session.

A gusting wind meant it was difficult to assess set-up changes and Lowes and Arbolino decided to limit their time on the Portimao track today in advance of improved forecasts for the remaining two days. 


  • Lowes initially concentrated on fine-tuning the gearing of his Kalex machine in the first of three sessions available to the Moto2 field today.
  • The Briton worked on riding position tweaks in the second session and crashed at turn 13 while still suffering a tendonitis issue.
  • Lowes was uninjured in the crash but decided to sit out the third and final session ahead of a busy testing schedule planned for tomorrow.

“The windy conditions made it quite difficult”

“It’s always great to be at this track but today the windy conditions made it quite difficult. I’m still struggling with my left wrist and in the wind today it wasn’t making it as easy to ride as I’d like. I felt it was more of an issue here in Portimao than it was in Jerez. We worked a bit on the base setting but it’s hard to draw too many conclusions with the windy conditions. It looks like there is going to be a lot less wind over the next two days, so I decided to rest for that final session to really take advantage of better weather and be ready to some more meaningful testing. It’s more important to be leaving here feeling good on Monday than on the first day and I’m confident we can do that and be fully ready for Qatar.”



  • Arbolino opted not to circulate in the blustering conditions this morning, with forecasts for improved conditions over the next two days.
  • The Italian ventured out on track for the second session and worked on the base settings used in a recent private test in Jerez while aiming to improve exit speed under acceleration.
  • He was also focusing on finding more front feeling and feels in more favourable conditions tomorrow he can make more big progress ahead of the first race in Qatar on March 6.

“I’m sure there’s a lot more to come”

“It looks like we are continuing to work in a very good way and that’s the most important thing. We are all working hard to be as well prepared as possible for the start of the World Championship and key to that is having a good base setting so we can work with something we know. It’s a good first day but being at the top is not important at this stage of the test. We have two more days and I’m sure there’s a lot more to come from myself and the bike.”