Difficult qualifying day for Lowes and Fernandez in Valencia
Qualifying day at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia proved to be a difficult experience for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS in cool and cloudy conditions that dominated this morning’s final Free Practice and both qualifying sessions.
- Sam Lowes suffered a painful right-hand injury in a high-speed crash this morning, but he showed incredible bravery to return to the track and qualify his Kalex machine inside the top 20 for tomorrow’s 25-lap race.
- Augusto Fernandez faces a tough fight from 21st on the grid but he is setting his sights on a strong points-scoring finish in tomorrow’s penultimate round, which is scheduled to get underway at 12:20pm local time.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ: 21st, 1:35.148, 29 laps
- Fernandez ended this morning’s FP3 session with a best time of 1:35.258, which left him outside of Q2 in 18th position, but the times were so incredibly close that the 23-year-old was only half-a-second away from P1.
- The Spaniard was able to set his best lap of the weekend in overcast conditions in the opening 15-minute qualifying session and as a result he will start his attack for the top 15 from the seventh row.
“The target is to fight hard and score some points”
“I am not happy with how today went. We made a small step compared to yesterday, but it wasn’t enough and we didn’t improve to be where we want or need to be. It is difficult to find the right way to progress at the moment and it is complicated by the fact that the lap times are so tight. Only a small amount of time can make a big difference in terms of your position on the timesheets, but I am quite far back on the grid. We need to find something in the bike that permits me to run a more comfortable pace and the target is to fight hard and score some points.”
/// SAM LOWES: 18th, 1’35.413, 24 laps
- Lowes was once again battling for the top three this morning when he fell heavily on the approach to turn nine and he required lengthy treatment in the Ricardo Tormo Circuit medical centre for a painful injury to his right hand.
- The 30-year-old used all his mental strength to complete nine pain-defying laps in Q2 and he was still able to set a lap time that was inside a second of the pole position set by Stefano Manzi.
“I’ll try and collect as many points as possible”
“Today has been a strange day because I was feeling really good in FP3. My times were fast on used tyres and more importantly I was consistent. But I made a mistake with the gearshift coming out of turn eight and I fell very awkwardly. It was a big crash and the bike hit my right hand quite hard and it is a painful injury. I was in pain in Q2 and all I can do now is have some intense treatment tonight and tomorrow morning and collect as many as points as possible in the race.”