Arbolino finishes #QatarGP in 10th, Lowes 12th
The refurbished and resurfaced Lusail International Circuit hosted the 19th race of the 2023 Moto2 World Championship, which kicked off at 18:15 local time.
Conditions were perfect for racing under the famous floodlights, with track temperatures a cool 30 degrees when the race started.
Starting from 11th, Tony enjoyed a great start and climbed to 6th on the 1st lap thanks to a typically aggressive opening.
But a mistake on the 8th lap saw the Italian run off track on the outside of Turn 12, which dropped him from 5th to 11th. Tony kept his head down, though and passed Joe Roberts on the last lap to claim 10th.
This evening’s race sees Tony stay 2nd in the World Championship with 249.5 points, 79 less than leader and 2023 World Champion Pedro Acosta.
It’s a shame. I wasn’t expecting to have that limit at Turn 12. I almost crashed a few times and during one of those I was almost literally on the floor! I tried to save it, and I had to go off track. From there it was just about bringing the bike home. That’s it, I wasn’t feeling that bad before the big moment. We’re trying to find something more with our set-up so we can adapt better and be faster on track. We need to keep going so we can finish the season in Valencia in the best possible way.
Starting from 5th, Sam had a tough opening lap, losing 7 places before he came into contact with another rider while braking for Turn 1 at the start of lap 2, which dropped him to 20th.
The Briton then found his rhythm and launched a heroic fightback, picking up 8 places. His late race rhythm was on a par with the podium men, and Sam set the race’s fastest time – a 1’57.366 – on the final lap to finish 12th.
The result means Sam stays 12th in the World Championship with 95 points.
It’s a shame. The first lap was so so. Then at the beginning of the second lap I had a bit of a collision with some other riders and went really wide and dropped down to 20th. From there, I came forward and had good speed, which was comparable to the top guys. Thanks to the team for their good work. I’m happy to have got the fastest lap on the last lap of the race but a bit disappointed to have nothing to show for it. I’m happy I pushed all the way to the flag and can be positive about that. Things aren’t going our way at the moment, but that’s racing. We have to put ourselves in a better position early on to be able to fight for better results.