Eazi Grip

Elf Marc VDS Team celebrate podium in Moto2 India

Arbolino tops day one in India

Tony Arbolino posted an eye-catching lap in P2 to secure the fastest Moto2 time of Friday at the Buddh International Circuit, while Sam Lowes was 14th.

  • Friday was a chance for Elf Marc VDS Racing Team duo Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino to sample the spectacular Buddh International Circuit for the first time.
  • In a revised schedule, the entire Moto2 field had two 55-minute Practice sessions to learn the track and adapt their bike settings to the demanding 5.01km layout.
  • Due to a trackside marshall-related problem after lunchtime, the second Moto2 session of the day was delayed by 45 minutes, and eventually started at 15:05 local time.

SAM LOWES, 14th – 1’52.947

  • After a dramatic journey out to India, which resulted in a late arrival to the country on Thursday afternoon, Sam was quickly up to speed in the weekend’s first session, when he placed 10th, while learning the track and spending all 55 minutes on the same tyres.
  • In the afternoon, the 33-year old tested different tyre compounds, and worked on suspension settings. Despite feeling tired after his long trip, a late lap pushed him to 14th at the end of P2.

“It’s really nice to ride with a lot of fun sections”

“Overall, I’m happy with today. No one really knew what the track would be like but I have to say it’s better than I expected. It’s really nice to ride with a lot of fun sections. The grip level is also good, so it was really positive to ride it for the first time today. I felt a little tired in the afternoon and I felt I didn’t ride so well in P2. So, I need to get a good sleep tonight to be ready for tomorrow. But there are some positive points and we have some tyres left for Saturday. After the week I’ve had, today was a good day. I’m quite happy with some things, others we have to improve. I’m doing a couple of corners a bit wrong, so we’ll work on that tomorrow. But a positive day and I look forward to riding tomorrow. I feel like we can do a good job in qualifying!”

TONY ARBOLINO, 1st – 1’52.105

  • After his heartening fightback to 4th place at Misano, Tony started the Indian Grand Prix on the front foot, finishing P1 in 6th place, while learning the track and using the same tyres throughout.
  • The 23-year old spent most of the afternoon working on race rhythm with Dunlop’s soft option rear tyre. A strong time attack at the end of P2 then saw Tony top the session by 0.065s from Pedro Acosta.

“I fully believe we can be there at this race”

“The first day here on track was quite important as we had to learn the new track during our first time on the bike. We’ve been working well with our base setting all day, which was the most important thing for me. I fully believe we can be there at this race on Sunday and our target is to improve my feeling on the bike in certain conditions – like in the mid-corner point. This is what we’re trying to do. So, let’s work on that tonight and do a good day tomorrow. I’m sure we will be there!”

Arbolino ready to fight from third row in first ever Indian GP

On a day marked by tricky weather conditions, Tony Arbolino kept mistakes to a minimum as he took 7th in qualifying at the Buddh International Circuit while Sam Lowes qualified 12th.

  • Tropical conditions greeted Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino at the Buddh International Circuit for P3, where riders had to contend with track temperatures of 37 degrees and sweltering 72% humidity.
  • But a heavy deluge of rain during Moto3 qualifying led to a long delay and Moto2 Q2 got underway 50 minutes behind schedule as a result. Even though the track was drying, riders went out with wet tyres and settings for the 15-minute session.

SAM LOWES, 12th – 2’03.536

  • After a much-needed full night’s sleep, Sam felt refreshed as he took to the track for P3. He showed strong rhythm, posting one lap in the 1’51s and six in the 1’52s. He ended the morning in 9th even if his fastest time was cancelled due to a yellow flag.
  • But the 33-year old didn’t feel comfortable in the mixed conditions in Q2 and finished 12th, 1.6s off pole position.

“We need to understand those half-and-half conditions a bit better”

“Obviously, I’m slightly disappointed with the qualifying because this morning was a very positive session and I felt really good. I lost my best lap because of a yellow flag, but I was strong. Then in qualifying, when we had drying conditions with wet tyres, I just didn’t have a great feeling. In the end 12th isn’t fantastic but it was a strange, complicated session. Overall, we made big steps in P3 and the team did a great job to give me a better bike. We’ve made a big step from Friday. We need to understand those half-and-half conditions a bit better. But hopefully tomorrow will be dry. We can look to the race in a positive way. We just need to get a good night’s sleep, start well and then use our pace to get a nice result.”

TONY ARBOLINO, 7th – 2’02.958

  • Tony tried out a variety of settings in a very competitive P3 session in the morning. He ended 15th, 0.591s off 1st but qualified automatically for Q2 thanks to his best time from Friday.
  • The Italian didn’t feel entirely comfortable in the mixed conditions in Q2, but he still took 7th, his twelfth top ten qualifying performance in 13 rounds this year.

“Our performance in the race will speak for itself!”

“It was a difficult day today because of the conditions. We had to try everything in qualifying. The conditions were improving lap-by-lap and we didn’t feel so great. Anyway, we are close to the race and we’ll have different feelings tomorrow if it’s fully dry. We need to check the data this evening to see if we can improve as much as we can to be ready for Sunday. Our performance in the race will speak for itself!”

Scintillating second for Arbolino in inaugural Indian GP

Tony Arbolino made a welcome podium return at the Buddh International Circuit with a comfortable second place while Sam Lowes finished 19th after being taken out on the first lap.

  • Conditions for the 13th Moto2 race of 2023 were among the most challenging of the year with Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino facing ambient temperatures of 34 degrees and 66% humidity.
  • A five-rider pile up at the first corner led to an early red flag. The race was then restarted over a reduced distance of 12 laps, when it was originally supposed to be run over 17.

SAM LOWES, 19th , + 54.448 s.

  • Starting from 12th, Sam got a decent getaway but was soon the victim of an unfortunate move at Turn 4 on the first lap, when he was taken out by Aron Canet.
  • The 33-year old was able to rejoin and valiantly fought until the end. Showing rhythm good enough to be fighting for the podium, Sam climbed from 24th on lap 2 to 19th at the flag.
  • Sam now sits 13th in the World Championship with 74 points.

“I have to keep working hard and take the positives”

“Obviously disappointed by today’s race. I was taken down by another rider again – that’s a couple of times it’s happened this year, so it’s rather frustrating. But it was really positive to have podium pace after, and that’s something we can take away from this weekend. We need to try and improve our performance on Saturdays so I can be in a better position on the first lap than where we were today. I’m a bit sad, a bit frustrated after today. But I have to just keep my head down, keep working hard and take the positives from this weekend. I’m sure things will come good soon, because our pace is good and that’s the main thing. Thanks to the team as always for doing a good job this weekend and we’ll keep going!”

TONY ARBOLINO, 2nd , + 3.543 s.

  • Coming through from 7th on the grid, Tony got his customary supreme start and had made up 4 places in the first 5 turns. He then neatly took 2nd from Sergio Garcia at the close of lap 1.
  • Despite suffering from a lack of rear grip in the track’s numerous long, right corners, the 23-year pulled clear of Garcia and Joe Roberts to finish a comfortable 2nd, 3.5s back of victor Pedro Acosta.
  • Tony’s 7th podium of the year, and first since the Sachsenring, keeps him 2nd in the World Championship with 197 points, 39 behind leader Acosta.

“I’m just happy and pleased with the great feeling”

“I have to say at the end it was a great race. We did two starts today and the first one was incredible! I gained six positions in four corners. I’m just happy and pleased with the great feeling we have back on the bike again. The only thing we can do is just keep going and believing that we can do great results like this in the races that are coming up. We can still try to improve one or two things on the bike to give me a better feeling. But we’ll keep focussed because we have another race next week. We need to be happy and enjoy the day today before resting a bit. Tomorrow we’ll get back to work so I can recover that winning feeling!”

Posted on Monday, September 25th, 2023 in News

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