Lowes and Fernandez deliver first day masterclass in Misano
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS began preparations for round seven of the 2020 Moto2 World Championship in stunning style, with Sam Lowes and Augusto Fernandez finishing inside the top three in gloriously sunny conditions in Misano.
- Lowes and Fernandez got their first opportunity to evaluate grip levels on the newly resurfaced Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli track today, with both giving positive first impressions of the updated asphalt at the end of two productive 40-minute practice sessions on Italy’s Adriatic Coast.
- Conditions were ideal for Lowes and Fernandez to get in vital set-up time on the new tarmac, with ambient temperature nudging 30 degrees in both sessions, as both launched a strong challenge inside the top three this afternoon at the 4.22km track.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ, 3rd, 1’37.048, 35 laps
- The 2019 Misano Moto2 winner bounced back superbly from an early first corner spill in FP1 to end the opening session less than 0.5s outside of the top three in ninth position.
- Eager to make up for lost time and focus on the setting of his Kalex chassis this afternoon, the Spaniard was immediately a leading challenger for top spot and a lap of 1:37.287 put him at the time of the timesheets with just under 14 minutes completed.
- Fernandez was able to make constant progress throughout the remainder of the session and his best time of 1:37.048 came on his 18th of 21 laps completed.
- His best time was almost a second faster than his pace set this morning and placed him just 0.056s behind teammate Lowes on an excellent start to the weekend for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS.
“I’m very optimistic that we can be strong again tomorrow”
“Apart from the crash this morning I am happy with this first day in Misano. We stuck to the initial plan and after the crash I made a lot of laps with the same tyres trying to recover the good feeling I had at the beginning. This afternoon I felt much better with the bike after we studied a lot of data following FP1 and to be in the top three is a good feeling. We can improve but I feel strong and confident and I’m very optimistic that we can be strong again tomorrow.”
/// SAM LOWES 2nd, 1:36.992 , 38 laps
- Lowes began a busy schedule this morning assessing his speed and consistency using Dunlop’s hard rear tyre option before switching to the soft compound to gather crucial information ahead of Sunday’s 25-lap race.
- Lowes quickly erased the memory of his disappointing early exit in Styria last time out with a sensational start and the British rider led FP1 by over 0.2s from World Championship leader Luca Marini.
- Only four riders were able to lap within 0.5s of Lowes and his best lap of 1:37.245 meant the 29-year-old led the way after the first session for the fourth race in a row.
- A further 19 laps this afternoon allowed Lowes to complete his objective of working on front suspension settings and he collected more useful data on worn tyres as well to be the first rider to lap in the 1.36 bracket before Enea Bastianini’s late charge dropped him to second.
“Importantly I could set a fast rhythm on used tyres”
“Today was very positive for me. I was fast in both sessions and importantly I could set a fast rhythm on used tyres. I did more than race distance on one set of tyres and my pace was still very strong, which is a good start. The bike is working very well, and we tried a different setting in both sessions and that means we’ve got some good data to analyse tonight. I didn’t make a great lap time overall, but my pace is strong and it has been the perfect way to put the disappointment of Styria behind me. The target was to come here and repeat other races this season when I’ve been strong in all sessions and we managed that.”