Lowes flawless on the way to brilliant #SpanishGP victory, 4th for Arbolino
Sam Lowes picked up the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team’s second victory of 2023 by dominating the Moto2 race at the Spanish Grand Prix, while Tony Arbolino scored an excellent fourth.
Conditions were cooler for race day at the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto compared to the rest of the weekend, with the 21-lap race taking place in ambient temperatures of 33 degrees – a drop of 13 degrees compared to yesterday’s qualifying.
79,625 fans were in attendance to witness Sam Lowes’ tenth GP victory, which, combined with Tony Arbolino’s fourth place, puts the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team top of the Moto2 Team’s Championship by 16 points. This was the team’s fourth podium in four races!
Starting from the 19th pole position of his career, Sam got a solid start and emerged from the first turn in second place, behind Pedro Acosta. He then regained the lead with a neat move at Turn 13 on the first lap.
The 32-year old immediately found his rhythm, and set a series of fastest laps (lap three then four). Sam continued lapping in the 1’41s until lap 18, an amazing pace, which resulted in him extending his lead to 2.9s lead on the penultimate lap.
The tenth win of Sam’s career is his first in the Moto2 class since the Emilia Romagna GP in 2021 and sees him climb to fifth in the World Championship, with 43 points.
I knew I had the pace this weekend, and I knew Pedro would be strong. We had a wee bit extra compared to the other guys. The team has done a good job this year with the package and the bike was working well today. We first tested the new bike here in March and this weekend we could see the progress we’ve made. We did a good qualifying so I could show my speed in the race. In Portugal and Argentina, I had the pace to be on the podium so it was great I could have a good Saturday and show that today. Today I felt I had something extra in my pocket. Mid-race I was quite comfortable. I could do this lap time each time around. This is the thing about racing: when things are going well you find the flow and can keep going. It was a really important step. I struggled at points in the first races but at least I brought points home in difficult weekends. Now, with that win we’re in a good position. I need to kick on from this. Le Mans is a track I enjoy. I took my first win for this team there. I need to use this momentum to keep the ball rolling!
After qualifying 10th, Tony vowed to attack in the early laps and that’s what he did. By the third turn, the Italian had already gained six places with some brilliant riding and ended the first lap fourth.
Tony was then involved in a tough fight to keep fourth with Ai Ogura and Aron Canet. After a strong, consistent race, he held on and was just 0.5s back of third place.
Tony’s ninth top six finish in the past ten races means he sits second in the World Championship with 74 points, the same number as leader Pedro Acosta.
I leave this race with a really good feeling – not just the race, which was amazing, but the weekend. Today the bike felt amazing. We weren’t feeling great on the first day here. But we came back. I knew it would be hard for us to fight for the podium today – so hard. But honestly, I made an amazing start. I gained six positions in two corners, which is one of the toughest things you can do at a track like Jerez. I’m so proud of that, my feeling and my team. We’ve been working so well. We’re looking forward now to the test on Tuesday to try something that we were missing this weekend, and understand what we can improve from today. We’ll check the data now. Anyway, my mindset is positive and I’m feeling positive vibes. There are a lot of races ahead but I think good moments are coming soon!