Majestic Lowes claims dominant Jerez pole
Sam Lowes was riding on another level during Moto2 qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix, as he took pole position by 0.578s, while Tony Arbolino was tenth.
- The biggest Saturday attendance of the year was present at the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto when Moto2 qualifying got underway with grandstands packed right the way around the track.
- Although the wind died down from Friday, conditions were intense for Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino, as they experienced track temperatures of 46 degrees.
/// SAM LOWES: 1st – 1’40.750
- After his strongest Friday of the year, Sam was involved in an entertaining fight for first during Saturday morning’s P3, with Aron Canet and Pedro Acosta. The Briton ended with the 3rd fastest time.
- No one could get close to the 32-year old in Q2, with his fastest lap time over half a second faster than Pedro Acosta in second. His best effort was just a tenth off the outright Moto2 circuit record as well.
- This is the 19th pole position of Sam’s Moto2 career, the highest number any rider has managed in the history of the class.
“I came out of the last corner and thought, ‘That was a nice lap’”
“We stopped during Q2 to change the tyre. When we came back out for some reason I didn’t have the sector times displayed on my dashboard. I came out of the last corner and thought, ‘That was a nice lap.’ But when I saw it was a 1’40.7 I said, ‘I’ll take that!’ Today was positive. We’ve had a good weekend until now. We’ve been in the top three in every session. I did say that we shouldn’t overthink the qualifying sessions until we get further into the season because in Portugal I lost a lap that was OK, in Argentina we didn’t put it together, and in Austin I crashed on my first lap. I didn’t want to dwell on that too much because I knew once we got back to these European races, we had a setting which meant we could work well from the first session. The team did a great job. We’ve improved the bike a lot since we tested here because we were faster despite the heat. We just need to sleep well tonight so we can come out tomorrow and fight for the first podium of the year. I think we can do it. It’s been a tough nine months so it’s nice to be back on pole!”
/// TONY ARBOLINO: 10th – 1’41.762
- Tony tried a number of small modifications in P3 to give him an edge but ended the morning with the tenth fastest time.
- The Italian then attempted to improve on his qualifying record this season in Q2, and was as high as 6th place at one point. But Tony couldn’t improve on his first flying lap in the closing minutes, leaving him tenth.
“We have to be aggressive in the early laps to recover as many positions as we can”
“It was a difficult day from this morning. We worked on trying to improve the feeling and the team did a good job because they tried everything. Now we need to be focussed on tomorrow’s race. It will be a long one with the hot conditions! Of course, the target today was to qualify on the first two rows but we couldn’t do it. That was Plan A so now we’ll move to Plan B! And that means we have to be aggressive in the early laps and try and recover as many positions as we can. Now we’ll focus on that. Maybe it will be a bit colder tomorrow but we must get as many points as possible which will be important for the championship. We’ll give everything to make it happen.”