fbpx
Eazi Grip

Tony Arbolino claims victory in Moto2 race at Phillip Island

Solid start for Elf Marc VDS Team on Friday

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.”

Tony Arbolino finds Saturday speed to qualify 8th

Tony Arbolino improved significantly on his personal best time from Friday to qualify in 8th for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, while Sam Lowes was 12th.

  • After riding in warm, sunny conditions throughout Friday, the weather was considerably cooler on Saturday with ambient temperatures dropping to 18 degrees and the skies overcast throughout.
  • Sunday’s forecast doesn’t look too promising, with rain and high winds expected. The schedule has therefore been adjusted. Now the Moto2 class will have a 10-minute warm up session at 8:40 local time before the 23-lap race gets underway at the new time of 11:15.

SAM LOWES, 12th – 1’33.070

  • Having made a few overnight changes to set-up to improve rear traction, Sam was among the names showing podium potential in P3, when he placed 6th and set 6 laps in the 1’32s/1’33s.
  • Along with his team-mate, Sam opted for a one-stop strategy in Q2. He posted his fastest time at the start of his second run on a new rear tyre. Pushing on to improve in the final minutes, Sam suffered an unfortunate fall at Turn 4.

“I felt too much movement and we weren’t where we need to be”

“It wasn’t a good qualifying session for us and I didn’t feel good on the bike. I felt like we made a step this morning. Then in the afternoon I felt similar. I thought I could do better with the one-off lap time but I didn’t. I made a small mistake, which is a shame but let’s see for tomorrow. The schedule looks a bit strange. I think riding at 8 o’clock in the morning is a bit a nonsense to be honest but let’s see what they do, and what the weather’s like. I don’t really agree with the scheduling but it’s the same for everybody. I need to find a better feeling so I can stay a bit more on the right line. This afternoon I felt too much movement and we weren’t where we need to be.”

 TONY ARBOLINO, 8th – 1’32.888

  • After sampling some set-up changes to help his front feeling in the fast corners in P3, Tony got down to a competitive pace late on, with his best time good enough for 5th.
  • Like Sam, Tony chose a one-stop strategy in qualifying, and was able to take advantage of a new tyre on the first lap of his second run. His fastest time was 0.861s faster than his Friday best.

“I haven’t felt so great here all weekend”

“It seems like P8 is the average starting position for me in recent races! Honestly, I haven’t felt so great here all weekend. I’m missing a bit of front feeling through the fast corners. Even today we weren’t able to make a big step with regards to the feeling. But our time wasn’t bad. Let’s see the conditions tomorrow. I’m not sure how it will be and whether we’ll be able to ride. But we’ll check the weather tomorrow morning. I’m motivated to face whatever conditions we’ll have.”

Arbolino is victorious in red flagged Australian GP

Tony Arbolino claimed a dominant third victory of 2023 after Sunday’s race at Phillip Island was red flagged due to worsening weather conditions, while Sam Lowes crashed out of 2nd.

  • Conditions dramatically worsened for Sunday at Phillip Island with rain and strong wings battering the circuit from early morning. Track temperatures were a measly 15 degrees for the Moto2 race.
  • Sunday’s schedule had been revised on Saturday, with Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino enjoying a 10-minute warm-up session before the 23-lap race started at 11:15, 1 hour earlier than scheduled.
  • After 10 riders crashed and the wind was picking up, the race was red flagged on lap 9. As the conditions were too bad to restart and 50% race distance hadn’t been completed, half points were awarded for the results.

 SAM LOWES, DNF

  • Starting from 12th on the grid, Sam enjoyed a strong opening to the race, climbing 10 positions in three laps to sit 2nd, just behind team-mate Tony Arbolino.
  • But a crash at Turn 10 on the 4th lap ended Sam’s hopes of scoring a 2nd podium of the year. Despite the Briton’s best attempts, he was unable to restart his bike.
  • As a result, Sam remains 13th in the World Championship with 80 points.

“I had zero grip on the right side and the rear just spun around”

“Obviously, I’m disappointed with that race, crashing out of 2nd. The conditions were terrible. It was very complicated to stay upright so Tony did ride very well. It was a shame the race didn’t go on longer so he could have been awarded full points. We were struggling with the cold, the wind and the right-hand side of the tyre. With the crash, I didn’t really know what happened. I had zero grip on the right side and the rear just spun around. I was happy to be fighting in the top positions so that’s a positive. I want to say well done to Tony and the team, but it’s a long way to come for a 9-lap race and half points awarded. It was a stronger performance from me in those conditions. I can take a bit of confidence from that to move forward and we’ll try and get some nice results in the final four races of the year.”

RACE WINNER, 1st

  • Tony’s day didn’t get off to the best start after he crashed out in morning warm up at Turn 6. But, starting from 8th on the grid, the Italian got a great start and had taken the lead by lap 4.
  • No one could live with the Italian’s speed in these conditions and by the end of lap 8 he had built up a massive lead of 14s before the race was stopped the following lap.
  • Tony’s 6th victory in the Moto2 class sees him remain 2nd in the World Championship with 224.5 points. He’s closed in on championship leader Pedro Acosta, who sits 56 ahead.

“I felt amazing out there”

“What can I say? The past two years we’ve had three races in the wet and I’ve won all of them! This feeling is crazy, because we never expected this result. But in the first two laps I felt clear and really focused on the bike. That was the biggest thing I felt today. Obviously, the bike was also working really well. We know we sometimes have a bit extra in these conditions, but even then, I still had to push a lot. I felt amazing out there. It’s a good day so I’m going to enjoy it with my guys before having a quick refresh so we’re ready for Thailand next week.”

Posted on Monday, October 23rd, 2023 in News

© 2024 Eazi-Grip   All Rights Reserved

Website Designed & Built by Stone Create