Strong start for third placed Lowes in Japan
Sam Lowes was quickly up to speed at the Mobility Resort Motegi on Friday as the Briton finished the day in 3rd, while Tony Arbolino feels there is more to come after placing 18th.
- Track conditions in Japan were much less punishing than India one week ago, as Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino rode under overcast skies and in ambient temperatures of 28 degrees in P2.
- Both men have a chance to improve on today’s times in Saturday morning’s P3, which kicks off at 9:25 local time, before Moto2 qualifying starts at 13:45.
/// SAM LOWES, 3rd – 1’50.546
- Riding at the Japanese venue when fully fit for the first time since 2019, Sam used P1 to refamiliarise himself to the track layout. After suffering a small crash at Turn 5 and ending the session in 17th, the 33-year old suggested a few set-up tweaks for the afternoon.
- Working on gearing, front and rear suspension adjustments as well as assessing the harder rear tyre, Sam was in the zone in P2, and set the 3rd fastest time, just 0.150s off pace setter Somkiat Chantra.
“I was relaxed and we made a nice rhythm”
“Today was OK. I was getting back into the flow of riding this circuit. Obviously, I rode here last year but I was injured so I didn’t do the race. Overall, it was a positive day. The team did a really good job to improve the bike from the morning session to the afternoon. Still, I need to improve a couple of areas. But it was a good day. I enjoyed riding the bike. I was relaxed and we made a nice rhythm. Let’s see what the weather’s like tomorrow. There are one or two sectors where I can improve, or at least work to make my best lap more consistent. Let’s get a good sleep tonight and try and put it on the first two rows tomorrow so we can use our pace well in the race.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 18th – 1’51.414
- After an excellent second place in India, Tony started the day by working on bike balance and evaluating the two rear tyre compounds available this weekend. The Italian ended P1 in 11th.
- The 23-year old was content with his rhythm in the afternoon using the harder rear tyre option. Indeed, Arbolino posted 9 laps in the 1’51s/1’52s. But he found no improved feeling with the softer compound when pushing for a time attack, meaning he ended the session 20th, and 18th in the combined standings.
“I’m confident in my own speed”
“I have to say today wasn’t the best Friday of the year. We were confident enough to try a few things to understand the set-up direction going forward. It wasn’t my best day but at least we understood a few settings that didn’t work. We always take the positives from every situation and that’s the most important thing. Tomorrow is another day. We’ll take a step back now, analyse all the data from the two sessions and be focussed on doing a good job tomorrow. I’m confident in my own speed, and with the crew that I have, I’m sure it will be a different story on Sunday!”