Lowes ends positive Friday 3rd in Qatar  

Lowes ends positive Friday 3rd in Qatar  

Sam Lowes showed excellent potential on the 1st day of practice at the Lusail International Circuit, finishing a promising 3rd while Tony Arbolino was 10th.

  • Friday was the first opportunity for Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino to sample the new track surface at the Lusail International Circuit.
  • Track conditions improved massively from P1 to P2, with the fastest times in the evening session, held under the famous floodlights, around 3 seconds quicker than the afternoon.

/// SAM LOWES, 3rd – 1’58.313

  • With the track dusty and dirty during P1, Sam decided to take minimum risk while the surface was cleaned up. He finished the afternoon 18th but knew there was more to come.
  • The 33-year old was immediately competitive in P2. The Briton’s second run was impressive, as he put together six consecutive laps in the 1’58s, while posting the 3rd fastest time of the day. Sam ended P2 just 0.254s off new lap record holder Fermin Aldeguer.

“I was enjoying myself a lot on track”

“It was a good first day. The conditions changed a lot between the afternoon to the evening. Obviously, it was dusty for the first session so we just stayed on track. But this evening we were fast. I was enjoying myself a lot on track. The team did a good job with the bike, and I felt comfortable. I think we can make a step forward tomorrow. It’ll be hard, because the conditions will be so different in P3. We worked hard in P2 and did a lot of laps. I’m happy with that. I’ve had a better first day here than the last few weekends. This track suits my style, I enjoy it and let’s try and improve tomorrow. I want to thank the team for the good job they did today.”

/// TONY ARBOLINO, 10th – 1’59.112

  • Like his team-mate, Tony didn’t take any unnecessary risks on a dirty track in P1, a session in which he posted the 23rd fastest time while complaining of a total lack of grip.
  • The Italian’s feelings were much improved in P2 when he quickly featured in the leading places. Tony’s best time in the evening was a massive 5.7s faster than his best effort set during the afternoon as he finished 10th overall.

“We’re not far away”

“The first day’s done here in Qatar and I had a good feeling in P2 – much better than in P1. We’re getting there in terms of our feeling on the bike. I’m hoping we can improve a few things with our set-up for tomorrow. But we’re not far away. We have the impression there is a good chance of us having a strong weekend here. In fact, I’m sure about it! So, we’ll just keep going, looking where we can improve and be ready for qualifying tomorrow!”