Lowes to push for podium from second row
In some of the most challenging conditions of the year, Sam Lowes qualified sixth for the Grand Prix of Barcelona while Tony Arbolino had a difficult afternoon in 18th.
- The Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders faced some of the most difficult conditions during Moto2 qualifying on Saturday as track temperatures reached a soaring 57 degrees.
- As well as providing a test for the riders’ fitness and strength, optimising traction when grip levels at the track is so low has been another major challenge for the Moto2 field.
/// SAM LOWES: 6th, 1’44.190
- Despite not feeling fully comfortable in FP3, the 31-year old was just 0.176s off the fastest lap of the morning, and ended the session in tenth place.
- After some changes to bike set-up, Lowes immediately felt more comfortable in the high afternoon temperatures, and posted two consistent runs in Q2 to qualify sixth, 0.367s off pole.
“We can fight for an important result tomorrow”
“I’m happy. We made some changes this morning. I didn’t feel 100% and for qualifying we went back in a good direction. The goal is always the front row but the second row is still good. It means we can fight for an important result tomorrow. I was really consistent in qualifying and I felt we made a step there. I’m still missing a bit in terms of track position. When times are so close, maybe I need to be a bit cleverer with where I am on track, rather than always being on my own. I’m happy with the work done and looking forward to the race. Tomorrow we’ll have to be smart with the tyres, and not overheat them in the early laps. Everyone will struggle a bit so it will be important to not overheat the front or rear tyre when we have the full tank of fuel. Whoever looks after the tyres best will be fighting for the podium at the end.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO: 18th, 1’44.878
- Tony was unable to improve on the lack of front feeling in Saturday morning’s FP3, a tight session in which just 0.060s covered the top six riders. After 40 minutes, the Italian was 18th.
- The 21-year old soon felt comfortable at the beginning of Q1, posting the third fastest time to qualify. But in the next session, Tony struggled to replicate his earlier speed and ended the 15-minute session in 18th.
“We need to analyse what we need to do for tomorrow”
“After Q1 I was happy to pass through to Q2. It was the best moment of the weekend so far. I was feeling really good in the first laps but then lap-by-lap I was feeling worse. I went into Q2 with the same feeling as the last laps of Q1. I didn’t feel great. I couldn’t improve my lap time so we need to analyse what happened. We’ll stay focussed and keep working. You have days like this in racing. We need to understand where we’ll be stronger and analyse what we need to do for tomorrow. We have just ten minutes of warm-up and then a long race. We’ll always try to take the positives, even in bad moments. This is my target for tomorrow.”