Heroic Lowes to launch title bid from second row in Portimao
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Sam Lowes will fight for 2020 Moto2 World Championship glory from fifth position on the grid in tomorrow’s title decider in Portugal, with Augusto Fernandez on the third row at the end of an incredibly close Q2.
- Lowes is aiming to recover a 14-point deficit to Enea Bastianini and become the first British rider to lift the Moto2 title in tomorrow’s 23-lap race, which he will start from the second row at 1220pm local time.
- The first Moto2 qualifying session to take place at the jaw-dropping Algarve International Circuit was a thrilling affair and in gloriously sunny conditions both Lowes and Fernandez sat on pole position at one stage.
///AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ: 8th, 1:42.871, 26 laps
- A top six this morning moved Fernandez effortlessly into Q2 and on just his fourth lap of qualifying he was able to set his fastest time of the weekend.
- His impressive lap of 1:42.871 was 0.4s faster than his quickest practice speed and he finished less than 0.2s away from Luca Marini in second position on the grid.
“I’m confident we can finish with a strong performance”
“It has been a good day. The lap times are incredibly close and I’m not far away from second position, and I was able to improve a lot from FP3. I made a good time this morning and I felt good and importantly we took another very good step in Q2. With the second soft tyre I was missing another rider ahead to use as a reference and that helps a lot at this track. I can’t be completely satisfied with my starting position but we have to look at it from a positive point of view and my race pace is very good. It’s hard to predict what might happen tomorrow because we will need to see who is the strongest when the tyres wear. It will be a long and hard race but I am confident we can finish the season with a strong performance.”
/// SAM LOWES: 5th, 1:42.759, 23 laps
- A last-minute crash at turn 13 this morning didn’t prevent Lowes from booking his place in Q2 and the gutsy 30-year-old then produced a remarkable and inspired fight for pole position, despite intense pain in his right hand from a Valencia practice crash.
- Lowes was 0.4s faster than his best practice lap set in FP2 and a 1:42.759 was less than a tenth-of-a-second away from securing a front row start for tomorrow’s nail-biting title decider.
“I’m proud we are still fighting for the title at the last race”
“I’m very happy to qualify on the second row. The hand is sore and it is not easy riding, but I am trying everything I can while we still have a chance. I don’t feel completely comfortable on the bike and it is awkward in the right corners, but my lap time shows that when I push the bike is working very well. The weekend has already gone a lot better than I thought it would considering the condition of my hand after Valencia. I’m really proud of myself and the team to come out fighting and it is helping me. I’m fighting hard but the injury means I can’t fight at my maximum level and potential and that is a bit disappointing. Anything can happen in racing and we will see what happens tomorrow. All I can say is I will be giving it my all and I’m proud that we go into the last race still fighting for the title.”