Tony Arbolino recovered five positions in the San Marino GP to claim a crucial 4th place for his championship challenge while Sam Lowes suffered an unfortunate crash when 6th.
For the third straight day on the Italian Riviera, conditions were perfect for the San Marino GP, with Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino riding in track temperatures of 39 degrees.
Sunday was comfortably the biggest attendance of the weekend, with 79,424 fans present at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for the 12th Moto2 race of the year.
Starting from 8th on the grid, Sam enjoyed a strong start and gained one place on the first lap before settling in behind team-mate Tony on the second, and finding his rhythm.
The Briton passed Filip Salac for 6th on lap 11 before closing in on a 4-rider fight for 3rd. But a Turn 1 crash on lap 16, when he lost the front, ended his race prematurely.
Sam now sits 12th in the World Championship, with 74 points.
Launching from 9th on the grid, Tony gained one place on lap one, before passing team-mate Sam for 7th at the start of lap 2.
By the 16th lap, Tony had continued his excellent progress, passing Manuel Gonzalez for 4th before pushing to close the 1.5s gap to Alonso Lopez in 3rd. In the end the 23-year old missed out on a home podium by just 1.3s.
Tony’s 8th top 4 finish of the year keeps him 2nd in the World Championship with 177 points, 34 behind leader Pedro Acosta.
SAM LOWES, DNF
“The race was OK. I didn’t make a bad start and the first laps were what I expected. The pace was quite good, but I was struggling in a couple of areas on the track, where I didn’t expect to. In the last sector in the two left handers and on the straight I was losing a bit of time compared to the other guys. That made it difficult to pass. It was an unfortunate end to the race as we obviously didn’t finish. I crashed when I had good pace and was coming forward. It’s disappointing and I have to apologise to the team for that. But we have to improve because there are some areas where we’re giving too much away to be able to fight well in the races. We’ll keep working and looking forward to India. It’s a new circuit for everyone and a new place. Well done to Tony to come back and get a top four finish after a tough weekend.”
TONY ARBOLINO, 4th
“I enjoyed this race a lot! Honestly, it wasn’t the best weekend for us, especially when we tried to push on the first two days. So, what we tried to do was do our absolute maximum today. The guys gave me a lot of feeling in the box which helped me believe in myself. We still have a lot of races to go and we have our good feeling back before the first flyaway race. This is what my target was coming here. I feel good about myself. We weren’t able to polish the bike setting so much on Friday. So, we were a bit behind when we got to the race. But anyway, I can be really happy and proud of myself today. I showed once again what my level is.”