Lowes inside the top three on Friday at Mandalika
Sam Lowes started the Indonesian GP on the front foot by setting the 3rd fastest time on Friday, while Tony Arbolino was a solid 9th.
- From the first session of the day, Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino had to contend with stiflingly hot track temperatures (54 degrees in P1, 58 degrees in P2) and humidity of 65% on the island of Lombok in Indonesia.
- The 4.3km Mandalika Street Circuit was resurfaced last November, meaning Friday was the first chance for the Moto2 field to ride on the new tarmac. The results were impressive as the fastest time of the day was 1.1s under last year’s outright circuit record.
/// SAM LOWES, 3rd – 1’34.678
- After finishing 4th here last year, Sam started the day well, ending P1 in 4th place and already showing some solid rhythm.
- With a few tweaks to set-up for P2, Lowes set 11 laps in the 1’34s/1’35s during two consistent runs. The fastest of those came two laps into his final run, with the Briton ending the day 0.2s off pace setter Pedro Acosta.
“We need to keep working on it, but it was a positive day one”
“I’m happy with today. It’s nice to ride this track again. Obviously, we’ve only been here once before and that was last year. But today was good. We made a good improvement between the two sessions. I need to work on Sector 4 a little bit, to figure it out and maybe we can improve the bike there, too. My pace isn’t so bad. We need to keep working on it, but it was a positive day one. We know our Saturdays have let us down in the last weekends, which have then made our Sundays more difficult. So, we need to fully focus tonight, have a good P3 tomorrow morning and then qualify on that front row to give us a chance to fight in the race.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 9th – 1’35.053
- Tony showed good speed in the morning session while adapting to the new track surface. He finished 10th in P1 and suggested some set-up changes to his team to make over the lunch break.
- The Italian started P2 with a very consistent 11-lap run, when he completed 8 laps in the mid-1’35s. On his final lap of the afternoon, the 23-year old improved to sit 9th, 0.5s off the fastest time.
“We still need to find something both in terms of my riding and the package”
“The first day in Lombok is done. The approach was the right one but we still need to find something both in terms of my riding and the package. It looks like we’re fast and the feeling is there. Let’s see how we can do better tomorrow, there are a few small changes we can make to the setting. And that’s it. We’ll work hard for qualifying and we are confident we can have a good weekend here in Indonesia.”