Lowes aims for Dutch delight from front row
Sam Lowes and Augusto Fernandez fought for the front row in a closely contested Moto2 Q2 session in Assen and both are extremely confident they have podium potential in tomorrow’s historic Dutch TT.
- With forecast rain not materialising at any stage, Lowes and Fernandez took full advantage of the unexpected dry and warm conditions to qualify third and eighth respectively in front of a crowd of nearly 10,000 fans attending one of MotoGP’s most famous venues.
- The final race before a long five-week summer break takes place over 24-laps tomorrow and is scheduled to get underway at 1220pm local time.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ: 8th, 1’36.884
- The impressive lap of 1’36.744 that put Fernandez on top of the timesheets in FP1 yesterday was still the third fastest time on the combined Free Practice standings and easily put the Spaniard into Q2.
- The 23-year-old was incredibly unfortunate in Q2 after a stunning final lap placed him on the front row, but he was dropped back to eighth position following a yellow flag infringement.
“We have shown all weekend we can fight at the front”
“It’s a big shame not to be starting from the front row because I put together a very good last lap, but it seems there were yellow flags waving and we have to accept the lap being cancelled. After such a good weekend, it would have been very positive to be starting from the front row tomorrow. It’s not the end of the world because my second best lap was still good enough for the third row and we have shown all weekend we have the pace to be fighting at the front. I used the same rear tyre for the whole of Q2, so my pace at the end was very strong because we could see those who used two tyres found a little bit more time. Our strategy was to do Q2 with the same soft rear tyre to understand the drop in performance and I think we collected some very useful data. I’m happy with my feeling on the bike and it is not a big problem to be starting from the third row. I am sure we can make a good race tomorrow.”
/// SAM LOWES: 3rd, 1:36.686
- Overnight improvements to the set-up of his Kalex chassis paid off instantly for Lowes and he was almost 0.5s quicker in FP3 to move up from 13th to sixth on the combined leaderboard.
- Lowes was sensational in time attack mode during Q2 and his lap of 1’36.686 was his fastest of the weekend to secure the Briton his fifth front row start of the season and first since the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.
“The team has given me a bike to fight for the podium”
“I’m very happy with how today has gone. This morning on used tyres my pace was strong, and I felt very confident going into Q2. It was a shame in Q2 because our strategy was to use two new soft rear tyres. It was an excellent plan by the team, and we made a brilliant pit stop but on the last lap I had to slow down because of the yellow flag. That was unfortunate because I felt I could have gone quicker. I wouldn’t have fought for pole because Fernandez was going fast but I feel strong with my race pace. We made a big step compared to yesterday and the team has done a great job giving me a bike that’s capable of fighting for the podium. I want a good result tomorrow to enjoy the summer break.”