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Tony Arbolino fights through to fourth in Thailand

Top ten for Tony on Friday in Thailand

On a day when 1s covered the 19 fastest Moto2 riders, Tony Arbolino set the 10th fastest time on Friday at the Chang International Circuit, while Sam Lowes was 19th.

  • After the cold, wet and windy conditions experienced at Phillip Island 5 days ago, Friday’s conditions in Buriram, Thailand were most welcome as ambient temperatures hit 34 degrees for the afternoon P2 session.
  • Despite forecasts which predicted rain on Friday, it remained dry for both of Moto2’s Practice sessions at the 4.55km Chang International Circuit.

SAM LOWES, 19th – 1’36.959

  • Sam struggled to find an optimal feeling in P1 with the front tyre and couldn’t carry the desired corner speed, which left him 17th in the session.
  • The Briton’s team made changes to gearing and suspension ahead of P2 to try and improve his feeling. But Sam believes there is still work to do after finishing 17th in that session and 19th overall.

“It was difficult to keep the speed in the middle of the corner”

“It was a difficult day today. I didn’t feel good on the bike and felt very slow. I need to analyse everything tonight to see where I can improve. There are a few things I know I can do better. It was complicated as I didn’t feel comfortable and didn’t understand the front tyre well, so it was difficult to keep the speed in the middle of the corner, as I would like. I was quite slow on entry, and when that happens, you ruin the corner. We’ll look at all the data tonight and try and improve for tomorrow. The team are working hard and I’m confident we can jump up the order ahead of qualifying.”

TONY ARBOLINO, 10th – 1’36.585

  • Five days on from scoring his 3rd victory of the year, Tony produced a late burst in P1 to rise to 5th at the end of the session.
  • The Italian’s crew made some changes to improve Tony’s braking stability and turning capabilities when mid-corner in P2. It was a positive afternoon, when Tony finished 10th overall, 0.6s off the day’s fastest time.

“We know the potential is there”

“It was a normal day today. We didn’t see anything too crazy out on track. We know the potential is there, but we just miss some feeling to manage the speed in the best way. At the moment, I cannot really express myself on the exit of the corners because I don’t have a great feeling on corner entry. But we are working on that. I believe in my crew and I know they’ll be able to give me a better feeling so I can smash some lap times tomorrow.”

Arbolino makes strong recovery in Thai qualifying

After a fast crash in P3 which caused him to miss much of the session, Tony Arbolino came through Q1 to qualify a solid 8th at the Chang International Circuit while Sam Lowes was 14th.

  • In keeping with Friday’s running, Saturday’s conditions were extremely testing for Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino in Thailand, who had to ride in afternoon ambient temperatures of 32 degrees and 59% humidity.
  • Despite spits of rain falling through Moto3 qualifying, the rain clouds steered clear of the 4.5km Chang International Circuit, meaning the Moto2 class rode in dry conditions throughout.

SAM LOWES, 14th – 1’36.076

  • Suffering from a lack of feel from his front tyre on Friday, Sam focused on some set-up changes in P3, when he improved his Friday time by 0.577s but placed 17th in combined practice, necessitating a trip through Q1.
  • The Briton then dug in for Q1, where he improved his previous best time this weekend by nearly half a second to finish 3rd. Sam was then unlucky to catch a yellow flag at the start of Q2, which meant his fastest lap time was cancelled. In the end he was 14th, 0.705s off pole.

“We made a good improvement from yesterday”

“I’m a little bit disappointed with qualifying because it was so close. I wasn’t able to put my first lap together due to a yellow flag. But we made a good improvement from yesterday, so this is positive. The pace also seems OK for the race. We have to stay relaxed, stay confident and see what we can do tomorrow. For sure, it won’t be easy. But we know that we can definitely move forward from where we are and try to score some points.”

 TONY ARBOLINO, 8th – 1’35.963

  • Tony’s day got off to a complicated start as he crashed out at Turn 4 at the start of P3. Thanks to the splendid work of his crew, the Italian got out for the final minutes of the session but was unable to improve his time, meaning he ended combined practice 22nd.
  • But the 23-year old came out swinging in qualifying, setting the 2nd best time in Q1. He couldn’t quite match that personal best time in Q2, but managed to qualify 8th, just 0.273s off a place on the front row.

“The crash didn’t allow us to improve the feeling on the bike”

“A complicated day. The crash this morning didn’t allow us to improve the feeling on the bike. Maybe without that fall, we’d have been able to go faster this afternoon. Anyway, we’re starting from P8 tomorrow, which isn’t so bad. We’ve started from this position many times this year! I think we’re still missing a bit of pace, as well as one or two small details with the set-up compared to the guys on the front row. But tomorrow is another day. Let’s see if we can improve our rhythm a little bit and keep it until the final laps. Like always, we’ll give it everything!”

Tony Arbolino finishes 4th while Sam Lowes rallied to finish 14th

After a tricky Saturday at the Chang International Circuit, Tony Arbolino scored a strong 4th place on Sunday to keep his title hopes alive, while Sam Lowes rallied to finish 14th.

  • After overnight rain, conditions were slightly cooler on Sunday than the rest of the weekend, with Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino racing in track temperatures of 42 degrees, two less than Saturday.
  • Despite drops of rain falling in the paddock as the Moto2 field took to the grid, it remained dry for the 22-lap Moto2 race, which got underway at 13:15.


  • Starting from 14th and the middle of the 5th row, Sam had a tough 1st lap, and dropped back to 20th before he began gaining positions.
  • The track’s 1st sector was an issue for the 33-year old all weekend. While still feeling far from comfortable when braking there, the Briton still managed to gain some positions, and scored an important finish with 14th.
  • Sam remains 13th in the World Championship thanks to this result with 82 points.

“I was slow in Sector 1 and felt I didn’t ride so well”

“A difficult weekend in general. We knew we were struggling coming into the race. I was slow in Sector 1 and felt I didn’t ride so well. I want to say thank you to the team because they improved the bike compared to where I was on Friday. We managed to take some steps forward, so that’s a positive. But we need to get back home, train and work on some weak points so we can improve for the final run in. It was important to finish this race, get some points, and we have three weekends to go to try and get a strong finish!”


  • Starting from 8th on the grid, Tony started aggressively, and after some frantic early exchanges, he had gained 2 places by lap 5 to sit 6th.
  • The 23-year old then started making further moves forward, passing Alonso Lopez for 5th on lap 10 before taking 4th from Marcos Ramirez on lap 14. That’s where he finished, just 3.1s back of the final podium place.
  • Tony’s 11th top 4 finish of 2023 sees him remain 2nd in the World Championship with 237.5 points, 63 back of leader Pedro Acosta.

“Let’s build up the confidence again in the dry”

“We finished the weekend with 4th position. We know we’re always able to give something extra in the race. We just need to believe we can be better on Friday and start the weekend in better shape in practice and improve the bike on this day, not later. That’s what my target is in the last races of the season and next year. We’ve understood some things this weekend and we’ll work on them to get better. I want to say thanks to the guys. I believe we can understand some things together during these last races to get even better results. Let’s build up the confidence again in the dry and finish the season in the best possible way.”

Posted on Monday, October 30th, 2023 in News

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