Top three for Lowes after first day of Indonesian running
There was a double top ten for Elf Marc VDS Racing at the all-new Mandalika International Street Circuit on Friday as Sam Lowes set the third fastest time in FP2 with Tony Arbolino eighth.
- There was much anticipation ahead of the first Indonesian Grand Prix for 25 years with two free practice taking place on Friday at the scenic, spectacular 2.68-mile Mandalika International Street Circuit on the island of Lombok.
- Conditions were challenging for the Elf Marc VDS Racing riders on Friday. The track was dirty and wet in FP1 before drying out, while they had to deal with track temperatures of 52 degrees and 65% humidity in FP2.
/// SAM LOWES, 3rd, 1’36.491 s.
- Sam started with wet tyres in FP1 but soon switched to a harder rear slick. With the intention of learning the track, the Englishman ended the session with the fastest time, a full 1.043s ahead of Joe Roberts in second.
- The 31-year old soon got down to business in FP2, and felt comfortable using the harder option rear tyre on longer runs. Aside for a small crash at turn ten in the final minutes, Lowes feels in strong shape for the weekend ahead.
“I have good sensations here”
“It was a good day. It was one of my best of the season as in testing I didn’t feel good and in Qatar I was struggling with my (left) arm. Today my arm felt good so I’m happy. I’m happy with my pace with the hard rear tyre. On the soft tyre I made a mistake at the end, running onto the dirty part of the track and losing the rear. It was a good lesson for the weekend as it shows how close the limit is with these track conditions. It’s nice to learn a new track. I have good sensations here. I’m really impressed with the circuit. We need to improve the gearing and my feeling with the front and learn the track more by just putting in laps. But overall, I’m happy with the first day and we’ll keep working tomorrow.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 8th, 1’36.701 s.
- In FP1, Tony did the entire session on a wet tyre without stopping. The Italian was keen to learn the track layout and explore a variety of different lines and braking markers and finished with the third fastest time.
- The 21-year old tried the two dry rear tyre options in the afternoon and believes both could be an option for Sunday’s race. Arbolino will now meet with crew chief Lucio Nicastro and his team to analyse where he can improve set-up to climb the order on Saturday.
“At this circuit I know I can do a good job”
“It was a good day. We felt so good in FP1. We missed something in the dry in FP2 but honestly, I’m happy with the bike. My crew made an incredible job. They work so hard for me and this makes me happy and motivated for tomorrow. At this circuit I know I can do a good job. So, I want more tomorrow. Let’s see which parts we need to improve and where we can be stronger. But I feel good with both rear tyres. We have a clear decision with the front. We still have a bit of work to do but I feel motivated to do a good job tomorrow.”