Fantastic fifth for Fernandez in Portimao
The Elf Marc VDS Racing Team’s Augusto Fernandez was made to fight for an excellent fifth in the Portuguese Grand Prix as Sam Lowes unfortunately crashed out at the first corner of the race.
- For the first time in 2021, the Moto2 was the final race of the day and got underway at 14h30 local time at Portugal’s fabulous Algarve International Circuit.
- Track temperatures of 44 degrees – the hottest of the weekend – greeted the riders for the race, which meant grip was lower than before.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ, 5th, +5.622 s.
- After working well with his team through free practice, Augusto started to feel greater confidence with the front end of his machine through Portimao’s numerous fast corners. This showed in qualifying and warm-up when he was sixth fastest.
- The 23-year old was then involved in an entertaining 7-rider fight for the lead of the race. Augusto was able to fight and overtake, and eventually finished fifth, just 5.6s behind race winner Raul Fernandez.
“The position is really positive”
“I’m happy with P5 and these good points, even if I expected a little bit more from the race. I felt really good in warm-up. But something changed in the race and I didn’t feel quite as strong. Still, considering the feeling I had, the position is really positive. Also, if you look at my gap to the race winner and compare it to where we were in Qatar, we’ve improved a lot. We are making steps and every time we are closer. Each time we are finishing, we are getting good points and this is really important. Now we have to keep working and I can’t wait for Jerez!”
/// SAM LOWES, DNF
- Lowes started from his third consecutive pole position in the class and was chasing a third straight race win. His potential on used tyres was excellent, which was confirmed by the 30-year setting the third fastest time in morning warm-up.
- But the Briton suffered a vicious highside at the first turn of the race when trying to avoid colliding with the rear tyre of Remy Gardner. Thankfully, Sam was not injured in the crash.
- Lowes now sits third in the championship with 50 points, just six behind leader Gardner.
“It was a mistake and we can learn from it”
“Of course, we’re disappointed to end the race like this. We got a bad start and then down into to turn one everyone was pushing for the line. I got touched a bit and was going close to Remy. To avoid him I pulled the rear brake a lot and locked the rear. Because I was wide and on the dirty part of the track, it spat me off on the highside. It’s not good because we had the pace to fight for the victory again. It was a mistake and we can learn from it. Obviously, this season has been going really well so far and this weekend we were really fast again. The crash is just something that can happen in racing. I want to thank the team for a good job this weekend and we’ll be back stronger in Jerez, which is a circuit that we’ve tested at, and one which I really enjoy.”