Arbolino maintains title lead with 7th in #DutchGP, 11th for Lowes
For the fifth round in succession, a huge crowd were in attendance to watch Sunday’s Moto2 race. After 46,276 fans showed up on Saturday, 105,842 came through the gates on Sunday to watch the Dutch TT.
Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino had to deal with the most intense conditions of the weekend for the Moto2 race, when track temperatures reached 43 degrees.
After qualifying 10th, Tony enjoyed his usual great start and gained 4 places on the first lap to sit 6th, where he was involved in a lively fight for 5th with 3 other riders.
By lap 11, the 22-year old had climbed to the front of that group, and was fighting to reel in the leading 4, only to lose time into Turn 5. Struggling in a few corners in Sectors 3 and 4, Tony kept fighting to come home 7th.
The result is Tony’s eighth top 7 finish of the year and he continues to lead the Moto2 World Championship with 148 points, 8 ahead of second place.
I have to say the feeling wasn’t so great today. I was struggling in some corners in Sector 3 and 4, like I have been all weekend. We tried to go back with the set-up with the bike but there was no way to improve the details and I couldn’t quite find something with my riding to go faster. We are quite happy about the pace, which wasn’t so bad. But we were missing something. We need to think about that, check the data today and tomorrow and then just release the body to rest and reset the mind so we come back to the second half of the championship with our batteries fully charged and ready to go again.
Starting from 5th and the middle of the 2nd row, Sam had a difficult start, and lost 5 positions to sit 10th at the end of the first lap.
Struggling top stop his bike with a full tank of fuel, the 32-year old lost 4 further places on lap 6. But Sam then consolidated his rhythm and rallied late on, gaining two places on the last 2 laps to finish 11th.
Sam remains in 8th place in the World Championship with 58 points to his name.
I probably didn’t expect to fight for the win today but I definitely expected to be stronger than I was. I struggled from the early laps to stop the bike. I don’t know if it was a temperature increase from yesterday. But it was tough in the braking zones, especially with a full tank of fuel. I also hit a few neutrals, which is frustrating because I didn’t have any over the weekend. But I did see quite a few guys struggling with that, so it wasn’t just me. It’s disappointing but we got to the finish and scored some points. It was a tough race. We obviously can’t be happy with 11th but in this first half of the year we’ve shown good signs of what we can do. We know we need to improve. I feel ready for the break but I feel good and confident. We’re going to Silverstone next and then we’ll have Misano and Barcelona – tracks that I like – coming up soon, where we can be fighting for good results. When you’re having a bad day and struggling, you know you just have to get something out of the race. Maybe I wouldn’t have done that in the past. Of course, we expected more, the team deserve more and maybe we didn’t quite get it right over the weekend. We both struggled slight more than we normally do. But sometimes it’s like that and we know how good this team is. We’ve been competitive at every other GP. We can look to Silverstone in a good way.