Fernandez flies to top spot on day one in Assen
Augusto Fernandez was in superb form to top the timesheets and Sam Lowes challenged for the top six as cool, overcast and wet conditions played a key role on the opening day of Moto2 practice at the legendary Assen track.
- A full dry FP1 session but wet track for FP2 meant Fernandez and Lowes were able to assess grip levels on Assen’s new asphalt using Dunlop’s slick and rain tyres to kick off the historic Dutch TT.
- With more rain forecast for tomorrow, Fernandez and Lowes look to have already clinched a place in the decisive Q2 session tomorrow, which is scheduled to get underway at 1535pm local time.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ: 1st, 1’36.744, 38 laps
- The 2019 Dutch TT winner was immediately confident around the 4.54km track and a blistering lap of 1’37.093 in the final minutes of FP1 put the Spaniard top of the timesheets by the comfortable margin of 0.143s.
- Fernandez was one of only two riders this morning to lap in the 1:36 bracket and a stunning late charge of 1’47.651 on a rapidly dry track meant he was only 0.034s from P1 again this afternoon.
“It’s been my best Friday of the season so far”
“It’s been a very positive day and certainly my best Friday of the season so far. Now we need to make sure we can keep it going for the rest of the weekend. I felt very good from the beginning of FP1 this morning. I like this track and the bike was working good in both conditions today. In the dry this morning we tried some things that improved our set-up. I was calm at the start of FP2 because it was important to understand the new surface in wet conditions. We haven’t done a lot of laps recently in the wet, so it was important to find a good feeling and improve my pace and we managed that. I pushed at the end to see what my potential could be with some dry patches around and I was able to ride a very nice lap and move close to first position again.”
/// SAM LOWES: 13th, 1:37.792, 35 laps
- Lowes steadily built up his speed throughout FP1 and on his penultimate lap of the session he delivered a crucial 1’37.792 that was good enough for a provisional place in Q2.
- The Briton’s wet weather prowess came to the fore in a rain-hit session this afternoon and his personal best time of 1’48.275 was less than 0.2s away from securing him a spot in third position at the end of FP2.
“I feel in any conditions we can be strong”
“It turned out to be a good day in the end because this morning I didn’t have the speed I was hoping for. I didn’t feel like I was riding very well but we checked the data and understood quickly where we were missing and where we could easily find time. This afternoon in the wet I felt good. I took my time in the early laps just to check the grip on the new surface and I felt strong. If we get more rain tomorrow and Sunday, which could be the case, then it’s a positive that the new surface has a lot of grip. Hopefully tomorrow morning it will be dry so we can try a few things to improve, but I feel in any conditions we can be strong because I always enjoy riding at this track.”