Arbolino fights through to finish 4th in #ThaiGP, Lowes 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 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.
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.
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.
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!