Fernandez and heroic Lowes kick off 2020 in impressive fashion
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS kicked off preparations for the new 2020 Moto2 World Championship in Doha with a productive day for Augusto Fernandez, while the Belgian squad welcomed back Sam Lowes from an injury lay-off.
- Cloudless skies and warm temperatures were ideal conditions for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS to work on finding the optimum machine set-up in this season’s first official practice session this afternoon.
- With the second session taking place under the spectacular Losail International Circuit floodlights, Fernandez and a strong-minded Lowes were able post competitive lap times in a record-breaking FP2.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ: 6th, 1:59.074, 24 laps
- After a successful three-day test session at the Losail International Circuit last weekend, Fernandez wasted no time in finding a fast rhythm in FP1 and a lap of 1’59.253 put him fourth and just 0.085s away from the best pace set by Tom Lüthi.
- Concentrating on setting a fast and consistent pace in race trim ahead of Sunday’s 20-lap race, Fernandez showed great potential on worn tyres to set the sixth fastest time of the evening with a 1’59.074.
- The Spaniard was confident he could make another big step but a crash from which he emerged uninjured prevented him from completing a planned time attack on soft rubber.
“The work we have been doing so far has been very positive”
“I’m happy with the first day because we made a big step in every area compared to the test. My feeling on the bike is much better and the lap time was good and I’m satisfied with my pace. It was a shame we missed the chance to complete a time attack because of the crash. I’m sorry to the team because the work we have been doing so far has been very positive but we missed the chance to push for a fast lap. I’m happy though because my fastest lap was set on a rear tyre that was on its 23rd lap, which is positive for the race. And I’m sure if I had the chance to push hard for a fast lap I’d be higher up.”
/// SAM LOWES: 20th, 1:59.561, 24 laps
- Although well below his peak physical best because of multiple injuries to his right shoulder sustained in a pre-season accident in Jerez, Lowes performed with tremendous determination and desire to demonstrate his potential on the opening day in Doha.
- Riding in considerable pain and coping with a lack of strength and mobility, Lowes completed 12 laps around the physically demanding 5.4km layout in FP1 and a further 12 laps in FP2.
- The Briton’s pain-defying performance was rewarded this evening and he improved his pace by the huge margin of 1.5s to finish day one in 20th position overall.
“I’m proud of myself and the team with the job we did today”
“It has been a tough time with the injury and it is not easy to miss testing and watch everybody else ride. I was unlucky to get a big injury from a very small crash and it has been a difficult period but I saw Augusto do a very good job at the test and that meant the team had a strong base to work with. I want to say thanks to him and the team and I feel good. I was nervous this morning because I didn’t know what was possible. I might have had to stop after just one lap, so I’m proud of myself and the team with the job we did today. I think we can improve and make another step forward tomorrow.”