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25/09/2023 News

Arbolino back on the podium

Buddh, India, September 25th 2023 - Tony Arbolino hadn’t been on the podium since Germany back in June. Happily, the Elf Marc VDS Racing rider put an end to his drought at the first ever Indian Grand Prix.


The arrival of the Buddh circuit on the MotoGP calendar had all the teams worried. Concerned about the condition of the Indian circuit and levels of safety, the MotoGP riders were reassured straightaway on the track laid out to the south of New Delhi. "Technical and interesting," enthused Augusto Fernandez after the first practice session. Unfortunately for the GASGAS Tech 3 rider, the Indian circuit didn't bring him much luck. Eleventh in the Sprint, Fernandez was forced to retire from the race after his ride height device broke. “I didn't get the results I'd hoped for, but I'm still pretty satisfied with my weekend," commented the Spaniard. “I performed well all weekend and I feel that I've made real progress over the last few races. I'm now running the same pace as the other RC16 riders. I've got eight Grands Prix left to achieve the best possible results.” Pol Espargaro, who was hit at the start of the Sprint, finished thirteenth in the Grand Prix.


Seventh on the grid, second at the chequered flag, Tony Arbolino put the colours of the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team on display at the Buddh International Circuit. “It was a great race," declared the Italian. “We had two starts today and the first one was incredible! I gained six places in four corners. I'm happy to have regained a good feeling on the bike. We need to keep moving forward and getting good results like this in the races to come. I think we can still improve one or two things on the bike to give me a better feeling." Qualifying on the fourth row, Sam Lowes also got off to a good start. Unfortunately, he was hit by another competitor and his hopes were dashed in the opening laps. Lowes was however able to restart and showed his fighting spirit by crossing the finish line in 19th position.


After a difficult start, the Indian weekend ended well for the KTM Tech 3 riders. After suffering a technical problem on Friday morning which delayed his Buddh International circuit apprenticeship, and then two crashes which forced him to start from the back of the grid, Dani Holgado managed a magnificent recovery to cross the line in fourth place. “It's been a fantastic day," commented the delighted Elf rider as he got off his machine. “It wasn't easy to climb from 18th to 4th place, but it's a great reward after the problems we had in practice. It's even better today because I've renewed my contract with the team for next season.” By scoring 16 points, Holgado retains the lead in the overall standings, but now shares it with Jaume Masia, winner of the first Indian Grand Prix. Filippo Farioli also shone on Indian soil. The Italian enjoying his best result of the season so far to finish eleventh. "I'm very happy because it was by far my best race of the year," he said. The two CFMoto Racing team riders had mixed fortunes. Joël Kelso crashed out of the race, while Xavier Artigas finished 12th.


Pol Espargaro

DNF and 13th

23rd (11 points)

Augusto Fernandez

11th and DNF

14th (58 points)


Sam Lowes


12th (74 points)

Tony Arbolino


2nd (197 points)


Dani Holgado


1st (174 points)

Filippo Farioli


24th (7 points)

Xavier Artigas


12th (65 points)

Joel Kelso


21st (19 points)