Fernandez to launch Austin attack from second row
On his first visit to the Circuit of the Americas, Augusto Fernandez posts an excellent qualifying performance of sixth, while Sam Lowes has a fightback on his hands after a crash disrupted his afternoon.
- Riders in all three classes are contending with a series of pronounced bumps around the undulating, technical 5.51km Circuit of the Americas, which features 20 varied corners.
- Forecasts for poor weather proved to be incorrect as the Elf Racing Marc VDS riders enjoyed two dry sessions in the Moto2 class, with Augusto Fernandez qualifying sixth and Sam Lowes 16th ahead of Sunday’s 18-lap race.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ, 6th , 2’09.638
- Despite having no experience of riding this track prior to Friday morning, Fernandez has been a model of consistency, finishing each session inside the top six. That included an impressive fifth fastest time in FP3.
- The 23-year old soon found his rhythm in qualifying, posting the sixth fastest time with his second lap of the session. What’s more, Augusto showed in FP3 he has the pace to fight for a top three finish on Sunday.
“I think we can do a good race”
“I’m pleased with the second row. The first target for the weekend is to qualify on the first two rows of the grid so sixth place is OK, especially at a new track for me. I’m really happy because yesterday we didn’t really have any rhythm and in FP3 we really improved my pace. Tomorrow I think we can do a good race. We have the pace to fight for the podium so we’ll try to do it!”
/// SAM LOWES, 16th , 2’15.903
- Lowes’ day started promisingly as he set the sixth fastest time in the morning’s FP3 session. His consistency was strong, too, with the 31-year old managing eight laps in the 2’9 and 2’10s.
- But luck wasn’t on the Briton’s side in qualifying. He encountered yellow flags in the first two laps of his run and then crashed at high speed at turn three with just minutes remaining. Thankfully, Lowes was uninjured but will start from 16th and the sixth row.
“It will be a hard race from there”
“Of course, I’m disappointed with today. I had yellow flags during my first two laps of the session and had to go slowly. Either my lap time was cancelled or I didn’t push. Then on the next lap I made a mistake and crashed. So, we didn’t get any laps in qualifying and we have to start the race from 16th. Our pace is quite good, but this track is difficult and we know it will be a hard race from there. I want to say sorry to the guys and we’ll try again tomorrow.”