Lowes signs off from Moto2 with hard-fought 7th
As he departs for the WorldSBK Championship, Sam Lowes came home 7th in his Moto2 farewell after fighting for 3rd for the majority of the race, while Tony Arbolino was 16th.
- As witnessed throughout the two previous days at the 20th round of 2023, conditions were perfect at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit for the 22-lap Moto2 race, which took place under sunny skies and in warm ambient temperatures of 18 degrees.
- A near sellout crowd of 93,044 turned up in Cheste just outside Valencia for the final round of the season, which was Elf Marc VDS Racing Team rider Sam Lowes’ Moto2 farewell.
- Sam had a stellar record in his 4 years with the team, scoring 7 wins, 15 podiums and 12 pole positions in that time.
/// SAM LOWES, 7th
- After qualifying 5th, Sam was 7th at the end of a chaotic 1st lap, when 4 riders crashed. He was immediately engaged in a 5-rider fight for 3rd place.
- Despite the final podium place being just ahead, the Briton couldn’t get close enough to overtake the riders ahead. But the 33-year old fought until the end, setting his personal best time with just 3 laps to go.
- The result means Sam finishes his 9th season in Moto2 12th in the World Championship with 95 points.
“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved”
“If I had a chance for the podium in the final laps, the end would have been different. But it was for P4, P5, P6, and it wouldn’t have changed so much. The last 2 laps I just stayed there and it was important to not make a mistake. It was really on my shoulders today to finish. I tried a lot but I didn’t feel as good as the last 2 days. The pace was a bit slower than we expected as the conditions were quite fresh. I just want to say a massive thank you to the team for a great 4 years. It’s full of great people, including Marc who is amazing. I feel really grateful we’re moving to WorldSBK together. Of course, I wanted to do better. But the results have been good. I’m happy with the wins, the podiums, the poles. This paddock is difficult. Everyone is trying to win. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. It’s not a goodbye to this paddock; it’s more a see you around, just I won’t be riding here when I come back!”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 16th
- Starting from 19th, Tony picked up 5 places early on thanks to a fine start, and was sat in 14th at the close of lap 1.
- But the Italian struggled in the track’s numerous heavy braking zones and couldn’t make any progress forward. He came home 16th – just his 2nd non-score of 2023.
- Tony ends his 3rd season in Moto2 2nd in the World Championship with 249.5 points.
“My target was another one in the race”
“I can’t be happy at the moment for today. My target was another one in the race. The result doesn’t matter, but I want to see improvements every day. I was not that fast today so that’s what my feeling is. Even if I got 2nd in the championship with a lot of points, podiums, and 3 wins, I need to close this chapter. We’ll start a new one tomorrow and prepare for 2024 with an open mind.”