Lowes and Arbolino off to strong start in sunny Spain
Blue skies and hot spring temperatures enabled Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino to make a superb start to their preparations for the Grand Prix of Spain in Jerez on Sunday.
- Fast and competitive when focusing on fine-tuning the race settings of their Kalex machinery for most of day one, Lowes and Arbolino were amongst the strongest in an exciting conclusion to FP2 to finish together inside the top five.
- The intense battle in FP3 to secure automatic places in the all-important Q2 will get underway tomorrow morning at 1055am local time.
/// SAM LOWES: 4th, 1.42.072, 36 laps
- Lowes wasted no time in bouncing back from an unlucky no score in Portugal last weekend to set the second fastest time in FP1 this morning while using ideal conditions to assess Dunlop’s soft and hard compound rear tyre options.
- The Briton concentrated on his race pace for the majority of FP2 before he found a 1:42.072 in time attack mode in the closing stages to finish fourth overall and he was just 0.063s away from keeping himself inside the top three.
“I feel good and ready to build on a strong start”
“Today was a positive one because physically I felt fine after the big crash last Sunday in Portimao. The swelling in the arm was a bit uncomfortable in FP1 but this afternoon I was fine and could ride without any problems. The good conditions also meant I could work a lot on the new Dunlop rear tyre today. The rain in Portugal didn’t really give us a good chance to properly assess it and I was just looking to find a good feeling with it, particularly in the hot conditions. I need to improve in sector two and I can also be stronger in the braking zone for the last sector but overall, I feel good and ready to build on a strong start.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO: 5th, 1:42.073, 32 laps
- Arbolino started his weekend off analysing the grip and durability of Dunlop’s soft rear tyre in anticipation of it being the preferred race choice on Sunday and he ended with a best lap of 1:42.535 to claim 10th.
- Set-up modifications to improve turning and agility through Jerez’s high-speed corners paid dividends in FP2 and the Italian improved by nearly 0.5s to move up to fifth position on the combined rankings.
“I go into the rest of the weekend confident in our potential”
“We made a good start to the weekend today and the good weather helped us do a lot of work and understand many things that will help us improve our level for the rest of the weekend. I’ve never been so strong here in Jerez on the Moto2 bike, so to finish in P5 shows the great work we have done so far this season is continuing. I’ve improved a lot and already I feel confident that we can have a strong race on Sunday. I am fast in all parts of the track, so we just need to fine tune some aspects of the set-up and my riding style. I can be more precise in some corners, but we have worked well like always and I go into the rest of the weekend with a lot of confidence in our potential.”