ELF riders dancing in the rain
Mandalika, Indonesia, March 22 - The Indonesian Grand Prix gave Raul Fernandez and Remy Gardner their first taste of racing a MotoGP bike in the rain. A new experience for the two Elf riders of the KTM Tech 3 Racing team.
Neither of them managed to finish in the points, but Raul Fernandez and Remy Gardner held their own on the Mandalika circuit which, 25 years after the last race at Sentul, celebrated the return of MotoGP to Indonesia. A huge thunderstorm drowned the track just minutes before the off and the riders had to wait for over an hour before being able to start in still very tricky conditions. Remy Gardner, who is usually at ease in the wet, had to contend with poor visibility, after his visor fogged up and water started running into his helmet. In the end the Australian had to settle for 21st place at the finish. With time to appreciate the performance of the Michelin rain tyres, that he discovered during the race, Raul Fernandez finished the race at very good pace, taking the chequered flag in seventeenth position.
Qualifying for the second time on the trot on the front row, Sam Lowes put in a solid performance. The Elf Marc VDS rider held second for a long time behind Thai rider Chantra, but finally succumbed to the attacks of Vietti and Canet to cross the finish line in fourth position. After his podium in Qatar, Lowes consolidates his third place in the overall classification. Commented the Brit, "This year, the goal is to be as consistent as possible and to avoid any mistakes.” Tony Arbolino also rode a good race. “I maintained my top ten ranking in both the wet and the dry," noted the Italian. “We are making progress, which is encouraging.” The Elf rider was eighth at the chequered flag and is now seventh in the overall Moto2 standings.
On a track that all the Moto3 riders discovered for the first time, Deniz Öncü confirmed the favourable impression he made in Qatar by achieving another top five finish. On a track that has a tendency to make the riders bunch up, the Elf rider battled from start to finish in the leading group, after starting from ninth on the grid. “It's a good result, even if I would have preferred to be on the podium", admitted Deniz. “It was a tough weekend with changeable conditions that complicated matters considerably.” Adrian Fernandez was forced to retire before the finish after his engine started to lose power on the tenth lap. Until then, the Spaniard was also in the group fighting for the podium.