Fernandez primed for fourth row fight back
Augusto Fernandez is fully prepared to stage a recovery from the fourth row of the grid after qualifying twelfth for the first race of 2020, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team-mate Sam Lowes withdraws from event.
- Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS’s Augusto Fernandez had to contend with hot, clear and blustery conditions on the first qualifying day of the year at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
- With Sam Lowes withdrawing from the event due to his painful shoulder injury, Fernandez was the team’s lone rider in a highly competitive Q2 qualifying session as 0.602s covered 14 riders!
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ, 12th, 1:58.683
- The Majorcan rider used the day’s first session to assess different tyre options for Sunday’s 20-lap race. Thanks to his brilliant effort on Friday afternoon, Augusto automatically qualified for Q2 with the 9th fastest time on the combined free practice leader board.
- Qualifying started well, with Augusto ending his first run in the 15-minute Q2 session with the fourth fastest time. But in a really competitive session he soon dropped to 15th.
- Only a strong late lap, posted behind Thomas Luthi, promoted him three places to 12th. His 1:58.683effort was just 0.547s slower than pole sitter Joe Roberts.
“I think we can do a good race tomorrow”
“In terms of lap time I’m quite happy because we are improving in every session. But the position is not the best one. I’m on the fourth row. The first laps of tomorrow’s race will be difficult but I feel as though I have the pace. I feel good with the bike with used tyres so I think we can do a good race tomorrow. I hope to gain a lot of positions in the early laps. The first five laps will be so important. Then I’ll make my race pace and fight for some good positions!”
/// SAM LOWES
- Despite Sam Lowes’ heroic performance in yesterday’s free practice sessions, the British rider did not take part in Saturday’s running.
- Sam also won’t participate in the race. Following the advice of the medical team in the paddock, the team and rider made the decision to avoid any risks and end his participation in the Qatar Grand Prix.
- Thus, the rider from Lincoln, England will focus on recovering completely to be in the best physical shape possible for the next Grand Prix.
“It was a very difficult decision to take”
“This morning we met with the doctors and the team and, following their advice, we opted to end to my participation in the Grand Prix. It was a very difficult decision to take because my head told me one thing and my heart another. Anyway, and as much as it hurts me, I think we went for the smartest option because, although I felt quite well yesterday, I am not 100% and any incident on the track could have serious physical consequences. At this point, it is not worth taking unnecessary risks. I will work hard to recover the shape of the whole and be at the maximum in the next race.