Augusto Fernandez makes stunning start in Misano
Mixed conditions couldn’t prevent the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team from enjoying a sensational first day of Moto2 Free Practice at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, with Augusto Fernandez fastest and Sam Lowes sixth on the combined standings.
- Two wet sessions on Friday at the 4.2km San Marino track five weeks ago meant Fernandez and Lowes were fully prepared to tackle rainy and cool conditions this morning, with the Spaniard finishing in an excellent second position.
- Conditions improved sufficiently for slick tyres in the latter stages of FP2 and the Elf Marc VDS Racing duo fought for the top three ahead of a crucial third Free Practice session that is due to get underway at 1055am local time tomorrow.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ: 1st, 1’40.930, 38 laps
- The Spaniard showed what a great job he and his crew did in finding a good wet weather set-up at last month’s opening Misano clash when a stunning final lap of 1’48.604 saw him miss top spot in FP1 by just 0.063s.
- Fernandez showed he was just as competitive in drying conditions this afternoon and a brilliant late lap of 1’40.930 on slick rubber powered him to P1 ahead of World Championship leader Remy Gardner.
“We are ready to be fast in any condition”
“Today has been very positive because we have shown we are competitive in very different conditions. I felt good this morning when it was fully wet, and I was also very strong and happy with my time in mixed conditions in the afternoon. We have a good base set-up from when we were here last month but we must wait and see what the conditions are like tomorrow. It looks like the weather could be a bit better and I hope we can have at least one full dry session because it looks like the race on Sunday will be dry. There is a softer rear tyre to try that’s different to Misano 1 and it will be important to analyse it if we can. I feel good though and think we are ready to be fast in any condition.”
/// SAM LOWES: 6th, 1’42.326, 24 laps
- This morning’s tricky conditions saw Lowes suffer an early crash at the final corner on just his fourth lap, but rapid repair work carried out by his crew allowed the Briton to complete a further five laps.
- Lowes waited patiently until the surface was dry enough to attack on slick tyres this afternoon and he instantly began challenging for the top three before a best pace of 1’42.326 comfortably secured the 31-year-old a provisional spot in Q2.
“I feel good. I’m happy with the first day”
“It was quite a good day. This morning in the rain I had a crash when I didn’t do much wrong. I had a fall and lost some track time, which wasn’t the best situation. But I felt quite good after, even if I didn’t push to set a lap time. For me if it’s wet for qualifying or the race, we can be strong, I’m quite happy with the bike. In the afternoon I felt good. When the track was drying, everyone was improving. Of course, you don’t really know or get to see the pace because it’s a different style of session. But I feel good. I’m happy with the first day. The afternoon was really solid and let’s see what the weather is like tomorrow.”