Arbolino signs off from 2022 with brilliant 3rd place in #ValenciaGP, Agius 9th
Tony Arbolino eventually finished third at the last race of the year after leading the early laps while Senna Agius scored a brilliant ninth place in just his fourth grand prix.
With two championships to be decided, the Ricardo Tormo Circuit outside Valencia was sold out on Sunday with 92,166 fans in attendance.
Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Tony Arbolino and Senna Agius enjoyed perfect conditions for the 20th Moto2 race of the year, and rode under clear blue skies and ambient temperatures of 22 degrees.
From fourth on the grid, Tony was full of aggression from the start, and quickly passed three riders ahead to lead the race on lap two.
After spending ten laps at the front of the pack, the Italian dropped back to third on the 13th lap and held the position until the chequered flag, when he finished 8.9s behind race winner Pedro Acosta.
Tony’s fifth podium of the year is enough to cement his fourth place in the World Championship, with 191.5 points.
It’s an amazing feeling. I was so focussed on the race. I’m so happy about this because the weekend didn’t start so well. I was P18 at the end of FP3 so this means the podium is like a victory. We went into the race without a really amazing pace, but we prepared the bike well, and made some good changes to the set-up. Another podium! Three in the last four races. The level is really high. I want to thank the team because they really believe in me. There is no better feeling than to end the year this way. Now we can go into the winter with good motivation. We just need to improve a few details. This has been an important race for us because of Friday’s struggles. This bodes well for next year.
On Saturday Senna knew his qualifying position of 19th didn’t reflect his race potential. He showed just that, starting steadily before climbing to 15th by lap 8.
By lap 19 he was inside the top ten and eventually came home ninth, for his first top ten and first ever points at World Championship level.
In four races Senna has racked up good experience in the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team and has scored results of 17th, 16th and 9th in that time.
It was a hard one! I got bullied a bit in the first laps and got stuck behind some slower riders. I just couldn’t pass them and use the advantage when the tyre was new. But I finally got past them and put in a good rhythm at the end to break the group. I got a taste of racing the World Championship and I can’t wait to get back here some day in the future!