Lowes and Arbolino ready to race as 2023 pre-season closes
The Elf Marc VDS Racing Team enjoyed a positive conclusion to the Moto2 World Championship pre-season testing campaign at Portugal’s Algarve International Circuit today.
- Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino were split by the slender margin of just 0.009s after three intense days on track and the pair placed fifth and sixth respectively on the final leaderboard to conclude winter testing on a high.
- The countdown to the opening round of 2023 is now well underway, with Lowes and Arbolino back in action at the Algarve International in just five days for Practice 1 in the season opening Grand Prix of Portugal.
/// SAM LOWES: 5th, 1:42.281
- Lowes and his crew were busy evaluating key parts again as the Briton completed his pre-season with another strong challenge for the top three.
- A prime target on the final day in Portimao was gaining more speed and confidence in sector one of the 4.5km Algarve International Circuit.
- Solid progress was made in that vital area and Lowes set the fifth fastest time overall to show he is going to firmly in the mix for the podium in round one of 21 next weekend.
“We’ve shown we have good potential this year”
“This test has been really good. In general it has been a very positive five days of testing for me and the team that show we have good potential this year. We had plenty of things to test and we were able to work a lot with the new package and draw many conclusions that will help us be competitive for the season ahead. We didn’t really have any issues over the five days, so that was also a boost and I am feeling happy with my pace. Based on what we saw here in Portimao, I need to find more speed in the first sector during the race weekend. If we do that then I’m sure we can be fighting for something special, and I can’t wait to get the season started now.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO: 6th, 1:42.290
- Fast and consistent lap times on new and worn Dunlop tyres enabled Arbolino to bring an impressive conclusion to winter testing.
- A crash at turn seven while straying slightly off the optimum racing line didn’t dent Arbolino’s confidence and he ended the test just under two-tenths-of-a-second away from the top three.
- A personal best time of 1:42.290 put Arbolino inside the top six again and he’s now determined to return to Portimao later this weekend to kickstart his 2023 challenge with a battle for the podium.
“I can’t wait to go racing now”
“We worked on track until the very last minutes of the time available to be as prepared as we possibly can be for the season ahead. We tried many different things with the bike and I’m quite mentally and physically tired but happy because all the work we have put in is going to be useful for the new season. We made a late change to the set-up on the last day here in Portimao and it made me feel better, so this is just what we needed to have a strong motivation going into the first race next weekend. I’ve felt my crew pushing at the maximum to make me faster and this is going to be key if we are to build on what was a great 2022 for me. I really appreciate their support and can’t wait to go racing now and for the new season to start.”