Elf Marc VDS Racing Team commence preparations for season finale in Valencia
The opening day of practice for the final round of the 2021 Moto2 World Championship in Valencia was a day of contrasting conditions and fortunes for Augusto Fernandez and Sam Lowes.
- After topping a full wet FP1, Fernandez was in eye-catching form again in dry conditions this afternoon to finish an excellent third overall, while it was a difficult start to proceedings for Lowes after he fell heavily at the start of this morning’s session.
- Track action continues for the 30-strong Moto2 field at 1055am local time tomorrow morning for the scheduled start of FP3.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ: 3rd, 1’35.898, 37 laps
- Air and ground temperature only peaked at a chilly 13 degrees this morning, but Fernandez made the perfect start to his Elf Marc VDS Racing Team farewell with a 1’46.587 placing him in P1 at the end of FP1.
- Fernandez got his first chance to assess Dunlop’s slick tyres on a dry surface this afternoon and once again he was one of the fastest men around the 4km Valencia track to finish less than five-hundredths-of-a-second behind title contenders Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez.
“I’m confident I can be at the front again tomorrow”
“Today has been a very positive day because I was strong in both the wet and dry. I was very happy with my speed this morning in the wet and that instantly gave me confidence. It took me a little bit longer than I expected to find some good rhythm on slicks in FP2 and I stayed out in the first stint longer than normal to find some feeling. I was fast enough to explain to my crew where I needed to improve, and we made a change to the bike that helped me be very competitive. We’ve found a good direction, but we know the track will be better tomorrow if it is dry. I feel prepared though and confident I can be at the front again.”
/// SAM LOWES: 23rd, 1’36.911, 19 laps
- A big high-side exiting turn five on just his third lap of this morning’s cold and wet session meant it was a painful start to the season finale for British star Lowes.
- The 31-year-old suffered a blow to his right foot and ankle but with no fractures detected he showed true grit and determination in FP2 to complete 17 laps with a 1’36.911 putting him just over one second away from the best pace.
“Hopefully we can show our true potential tomorrow”
“It’s certainly been a tough start and the early crash was the last thing I needed. It was very early in the morning session and to be honest it was quite a big one. Maybe the right side of the rear tyre just wasn’t quite up to temperature. I’m in some discomfort with my right foot and ankle. This afternoon in the dry I didn’t feel comfortable on the bike, and it felt like the grip was low. I just didn’t feel good, and we’ll study the data tonight to understand why I’m not able to feel more comfortable. I was too slow and if I continue to struggle with the foot, it won’t make much sense to continue. But we need to understand how much of my issues are coming from the pain or whether it is just something we are missing with the set-up. We’ll see if we can improve tomorrow and show more of the potential we know we have.”