Solid start at Assen as both Elf Marc VDS bikes inside the top 9

Solid start at Assen as both Elf Marc VDS bikes inside the top 9

Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino showed strongly on a dry Friday at the TT Circuit Assen, finishing the day with the 5th and 9th fastest times.

  • Despite heavy overnight rain, the TT Circuit Assen had dried fully for P1, meaning Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino enjoyed two dry sessions on Friday, with track temperature peaking at 46 degrees in the afternoon.
  • The particular, fast, flowing nature of the 4.54km track meant both Sam and Tony had to change their bikes away from their respective base settings to have an optimum set-up.

/// SAM LOWES, 5th – 1’36.844

  • Due to the specific nature of the TT Circuit Assen, Sam and his crew made changes to the geometry settings of his bike between the two sessions to help the Briton in Sector 1 of the track.
  • After finishing 12th in P1, the 32-year old’s times were much improved in the afternoon, when Sam finished 5th and did 10 laps in either the 1’36s or 1’37s.

“We went in a different direction with set-up”

“It was a good day. We made a strong step this afternoon in Sector 1, where I was struggling this morning. We went in a different direction with set-up and tried to load the front of the bike a different way. It’s a different way to the base setting we’ve been using so far this year, but then we know Assen is a unique track, with a very fast and flowing nature. It’s a place where you’re not so aggressive on the brakes, so it was normal that we had to change a bit. I felt a lot better this afternoon. My pace is good. I’d say I’m missing maybe three tenths of a second per lap to really fight for the win. But it’s only Friday and I’m happy we made a big step between today’s two sessions. If we can do another step tomorrow morning then I’ll be ready to go for a nice lap in qualifying!”


/// TONY ARBOLIO, 9th – 1’36.998

  • Coming to the Netherlands after 3 consecutive podium finishes, Tony was immediately in the ball-park from P1, posting the 6th fastest time.
  • The times were tight in P2 and Tony was just 0.535s off the quickest lap of the day. The Italian set the fastest 1st Sector of the day, and the 3rd fastest 2nd Sector. If he can find improvements in the final half of the lap, Tony is sure he can be competitive on Saturday.

“I have something in my pocket there for tomorrow”

“We tried some things in P2, which maybe weren’t the right way. Sectors 3 and 4 are the parts of the track where we need to take a step forward because at the moment, I can’t quite make the step up just there. But I know I have something in my pocket there for tomorrow. And we know where we need to focus when we’re making some changes to the set-up tonight. Anyway, I feel good on the bike. I’m pretty sure I can be fast tomorrow as I’m feeling quite competitive here. If we can put everything together, it will be a good weekend as well.”