Lowes eyeing Japanese podium push from third row
Sam Lowes is confident of contesting the top positions after qualifying 8th for the Japanese GP at Mobility Resort Motegi while Tony Arbolino will start from 13th.
- Despite forecasts predicting rain, Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino enjoyed dry running throughout Saturday at the Mobility Resort Motegi.
- Further dry conditions are expected for tomorrow’s 22-lap race, which kicks off at 13:15 local time on Sunday.
/// SAM LOWES, 8th – 1’50.237
- Sam’s strong weekend continued in P3 when he finished 4th and posted 7 laps in the 1’50s/1’51s – pace that indicate a podium challenge in possible on Sunday.
- The 33-year old pitted after his first flying lap in Q2. He then set four successive lap times in the low-mid 1’50s, the second of which was enough for 8th. In the end, the Briton finished just 0.179s off the front row.
“Our pace is quite strong so we’re positive about tomorrow”
“I wanted a little more from qualifying. The aim was to be on the first two rows but we couldn’t put the lap together. Our pace is quite strong so we’re positive about tomorrow. If we can get a good start then I’m confident we can get in the mix. We’ll keep working tonight to find a bit of an improvement in some areas. I need to make a step in Sector 4. The team did a good job but I feel like we just didn’t quite nail the time attack like we hoped. Anyway, it wasn’t too bad and with a good start we can be up there, fighting in the lead group, and looking to fight for the podium tomorrow. That’s my target as I feel like my pace has been quite strong all weekend.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 13th – 1’50.672
- After ending Friday in 18th, Tony worked hard with his crew to analyse where they could improve his setting. Results were immediate on Saturday morning, as the Italian posted his first 1’50s time on just his 4th lap of the session. He went on to finish P3 in 8th.
- Tony couldn’t quite replicate that position in Q2 as he set his fastest time on the penultimate lap of a 7-lap run. He ended the session just 0.774s off pole position.
“We’ll try and do a good pace all race long”
“Today was another normal qualifying. But it’s not so bad as we improved quite a bit from yesterday and know where we’re losing at the moment. We will improve the feeling for tomorrow’s race and there we’ll try and do a good pace all race long. This will be more or less the secret to gain some positions.”