Solid start for Marc VDS duo on day one at Australian GP
Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino were 10th and 12th respectively at a sunny Phillip Island with both men seeking small changes before qualifying.
- While some way off the heat experienced in Indonesia last week, conditions for the first two sessions of the weekend were near perfect with blue skies and ambient temperatures of 23 degrees greeting the riders for P2.
- Riders found rear grip to be at a premium around the 4.45km Phillip Island track, with added bumps in the fast final sector another challenge to face.
/// SAM LOWES, 10th – 1’33.574
- At one of his favourite circuits, Sam opened the day with the 14th fastest time in P1, before improving to 10th in P2.
- After a tricky start to the day when he struggled for rear traction, Sam was able to piece together a consistent close of P2, when he posted a 12-lap run. 6 of those were in the 1’33s, which was a competitive pace.
“There was some nice, consistent pace at the end of P2”
“Honestly, it wasn’t an easy day. We struggled a little bit to find a really good feeling with the bike. I’m happy with how I finished with a good, consistent run with a decent number of laps. But we’re just searching for grip to get the rear tyre to dig in to the tarmac so we can make a step forward for tomorrow. We need to figure that out but there was some nice, consistent pace at the end of P2. We have some good data to look at. We’ll analyse that tonight and see what the best plan is for tomorrow and decide on a direction to go in. Overall, it was OK. But we’re definitely missing something and we’ll work hard tonight to try and improve that.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 12th – 1’33.749
- Tony started the day with the 8th fastest time in P1, before improving by 0.176s in P2 to end the day in 12th overall.
- The 23-year old was able to try out some changes to the bike, as well as working on perfecting his lines at the challenging track during P1 and P2. The Italian is confident a few tweaks in the required areas will help him push for a competitive qualifying on Saturday.
“We know where we can be better and stronger”
“We worked really hard on this first day. The conditions here in Australia are always a bit different compared to other racetracks so we had to adapt. We were just riding and trying to force ourselves a bit to get the best out of our package. It wasn’t the best Friday of the year but we know where we can be better and stronger for tomorrow. The guys are really working in the box. So, I have the impression we need to make a step tomorrow morning to go into qualifying with a good base and good feeling to make this a good weekend.”