Marc VDS duo ready to launch Sunday fightbacks in Barcelona
Sam Lowes qualified 11th and Tony Arbolino 20th in highly competitive qualifying sessions on Saturday at the Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya
- After stifling heat on Friday, track conditions at Montmeló, in central Catalunya, were a little more forgiving on Saturday, with track temperatures down to 32 degrees for Moto2 qualifying.
- Huge crowds greeted the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders for Saturday’s qualifying session with the main grandstand at the Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya almost at full capacity during Q1 and Q2.
/// SAM LOWES
- Like Friday, Sam used the morning practice session to showcase some strong rhythm and posted 9 laps in the 1’44/1’45s in P3 while finishing the session in 11th.
- In Q2 the 32-year-old was unfortunate to touch the green on his final flying lap, which meant his quickest time was cancelled. In the end his 11th fastest time was just 0.369s off pole position.
“I feel better than the position we’re in”
“That was such a tight session. I was happy with my lap time. On my final lap I was able to improve but, unfortunately, we touched the green which cancelled my fastest time. We would’ve been sixth or seventh on the grid and I’d have been quite happy with that. It was a good plan to stay out all session. In the last few race weekends we’ve changed the tyre and I’ve not managed to put a nice lap in. Obviously, I’m disappointed because the position isn’t great. But my pace is good and we’ve worked well through the weekend so we should be able to make a nice step forward in the second half of the race. Honestly, I feel better than the position we’re in. We’re not so far off. Tomorrow the focus is on getting a good start, and staying in the group in the first five or six laps because looking at the weekend so far, my pace at the end will be quite strong. So, we’ll stay focussed and be ready to keep that rhythm until the final laps.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO
- It was a tough day for Tony as he tried set-up changes aimed to give him greater traction with the rear tyre on a track surface that offers up very little rear grip. The Italian had to ride in Q1 after failing to make the top 14 at the end of P3.
- The 23-year old gave his all in Q1 but found traffic at Turn 1 at just the wrong time on his final flying lap. He missed out on a place in the top 4 by 0.094s and will start tomorrow’s race from 20th.
“You learn more on your bad days than your good ones”
“It was not the best Saturday of the year. We’ve been struggling with the feeling all weekend. We know that, so all we can do now is improve. We have a harder rear tyre compound here this weekend, which gives us different feelings. You have to adapt the setting to it well. We couldn’t really do it yesterday. But today we made a step with the feeling of the bike, if not the lap time. So that’s important. The good thing is we’ve understood many things about the bike this weekend. You learn more on your bad days than your good ones – that’s the positive mindset we have at the moment. Now I’m just focussed on tomorrow’s race. I’m absolutely sure anything can happen. We’ll go into ‘race mode’ and ‘attack mode’ like always and give our everything.”