Arbolino victorious in red flagged #AustralianGP as Lowes crashes out of 2nd place

 In Moto2, News, Sam Lowes, Tony Arbolino

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.

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.

Tony Arbolino

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 focussed 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.

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.

Sam Lowes

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.

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