Lowes opens up at Jerez on top
Sam Lowes ended a strong day of running at the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto on top of the Moto2 combined standings, while Tony Arbolino was tenth.
- A day on from the hottest recorded temperature in April in Spanish history, Elf Marc VDS Racing Team men Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino had to contend with sweltering conditions at the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto.
- After a cool start to the day, riders rode in stifling ambient temperatures of 31 degrees in the afternoon, a session in which just two of 30 riders improved their lap times from P1.
/// SAM LOWES, 1st – 1’41.170
- From the first moments of P1, Sam felt comfortable and fast and was able to quickly find his groove. His growing confidence was reflected in his performance, as he set the fastest time of P1.
- In hotter afternoon temperatures, the 32-year old displayed strong consistency, posting 8 laps in the 1’42s in an 11 lap run. Not even a late low-speed crash at Turn 2 could dampen his spirits.
“We have a better base setting with the bike than we thought”
“Today was good. It was important to come here because I’ve already ridden this year’s bike at Jerez. We worked hard at the test and were fast. To come here after a disappointing race in America and be fast from the first laps was really positive. I can take a lot of confidence from that. I’ve been saying all year that I’m not too far away. So, feeling good on the bike straight away shows that we’ve done a good job in the first races, even if we didn’t get the results to show it, and that we have a better base setting with the bike than we thought. Even in the hot conditions in the afternoon when I struggle more, I was still fast. This afternoon we didn’t use any new tyres so we’ve saved some for tomorrow. Qualifying was maybe my bad point in the first three races but generally, that’s been a good point for me in the past. I feel I know how to do a good lap around here. We put everything together to do a nice run in the morning, and nice pace. I’ll aim to be on the front two rows tomorrow. For Sunday, I know my race pace won’t be far off. If I can start with the top guys in the first five laps, I’ll be there.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 10th – 1’42.100
- Coming to Jerez on the back of six podium finishes in seven races, Tony’s crew made some changes to the front of his bike in P1, which ultimately weren’t to his liking. He set the 10th fastest time.
- The Italian’s team reverted to his base setting from Austin for P2 and Tony immediately felt more comfortable. Although unable to improve his time from the morning, Tony was fourth fastest in P2 and pleased with his rhythm.
“We worked on the front part of the bike”
“Today we were focussed on having a bike that has better speed in certain points. We worked on the front part of the bike to improve the feeling. We moved our base setting a bit from Austin but it wasn’t working so well. So, in P2 we went back to our normal base and I was faster, safer and it was easier to ride. I felt more like myself. Tomorrow, we’ll try and get an even better feeling in P3. For sure, there’ll be a time attack at the end of the session so we need to consider that. I think we are much closer now and I feel better in terms of race pace because the bike is really stable. I can’t wait to do a good qualifying – that will be the secret to the weekend. We need to start further in front. It was our target before coming here and that’s what we’ll try to do tomorrow.”