Lowes to start podium charge from fourth despite fall
Aside from receiving a blow on his back, Sam Lowes is OK after a heavy crash in Moto2 qualifying at Le Mans, when he placed fourth with team-mate Tony Arbolino in tenth.
- In a change from recent years, perfect conditions greeted riders for qualifying at the historic Le Mans Bugatti Circuit, with sunny skies and track temperatures of 36 degrees.
- For the first time in three years, the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team’s Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino rode in front of packed grandstands at Le Mans ahead of an expected full attendance on Sunday.
/// SAM LOWES, 4th, 1’36.071 s.
- After some small tweaks to his set-up, Sam showed strong rhythm in the morning FP3 session, as he reeled off nine laps in the 1’36s in a fast 14-lap run.
- It was an all-action qualifying for the Briton, who had just posted the fastest time of Q2 before he suffered a high-side exiting turn eight. Despite feeling pain in his leg and back, Sam is largely OK and will race tomorrow.
“I felt really good in qualifying”
“I felt very good in FP3 this morning and really good in qualifying. The team has done a great job improving the bike from yesterday with some small changes. I felt quite good this morning on the race tyres so it’s a shame to crash in qualifying. I apologise to the team because it’s never good to crash, and we didn’t show our full potential. I’m feeling quite sore. Hopefully I’ll feel better in the morning and we can put a nice race together. Thanks to the team again, because our pace is good and the bike is much improved compared to yesterday. I’ll try to get a good rest tonight and have a good go at it tomorrow.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 10th, 1’36.351 s.
- The 21-year old was aiming to improve braking stability at the start of the weekend, and had made progress on Saturday morning, as he posted the eighth fastest time of FP3, 0.464s off pace setter Pedro Acosta.
- But Tony didn’t have an ideal feeling in Q2 and was losing time in a handful of corners to be truly competitive. The Italian is still confident that with the aid of a strong start, he can achieve a good result tomorrow.
“We have to keep focussed and improve the feeling”
“I was struggling a bit in qualifying and we’re trying to understand exactly why. I miss some feeling in some corners which means I’m losing just a few tenths to be at the front. The race is tomorrow and we don’t know the conditions that we’ll have. Anyway, we have to keep focussed and improve the feeling. This is the main thing. Everyone is really close in the times. Tomorrow the plan is to overtake and get to the front group to lose as little time as possible. We’ll try to be fast, constant and keep believing we can make a good step tomorrow.”