Lowes and Fernandez enjoy productive start to 2021 pre-season schedule
Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Augusto Fernandez kicked off their 2021 Moto2 World Championship preparations with a successful two-day test session in Valencia.
- Sporting a stunning black and silver winter testing livery ahead of the official unveiling of the new Elf Marc VDS Racing Team colours on March 15, Lowes and Fernandez completed over 320 laps of the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in cool but dry conditions.
- Lowes and Fernandez will continue the build-up to the new season with a private test in Jerez next week before concluding preparations with an official three-day test in Qatar that commences on March 19.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ:
- Fernandez was able to quickly form a close understanding with new crew chief Lucio Nicastro after completing nearly 150 laps over the two-day session.
- The Spaniard completed several long runs to help him establish a new base setting ahead of the season opener in Doha on March 28.
- Fernandez was particularly satisfied with improvements made to his Kalex chassis, which helped with consistency on worn tyres.
“This test shows we can move forward with confidence”
“I’ve been really looking forward to this test because it gave me the first chance to work with Lucio, who is my new crew chief for this season. We’ve been working to understand how each other works and concentrating on what I need from the bike to show my best potential. It’s been a very good test in that respect, and I think we found some interesting things both positive and negative. I’m not the fastest but that wasn’t the goal for this test. I felt I recovered some nice feelings on the bike that I was missing last year, and I was enjoying riding a lot. There’s still a lot of work to do but these two days have shown we can move forward with a plenty of confidence and optimism.”
/// SAM LOWES:
- An 85-lap stint on day one saw Lowes quickly find the speed and confidence that helped him put up a strong fight for last year’s Moto2 title.
- Cold conditions and a surface lacking optimum grip didn’t prevent the Briton from successfully completing a very busy but fruitful testing schedule over 173 laps of the 4km track.
- Lowes was able to draw positive conclusions from a variety of geometry, suspension and throttle modifications, which he will hope to confirm in Jerez next week.
“My rhythm was fast even though we made a lot of changes”
“It’s been a very good test because coming here the forecast wasn’t great but thankfully it stayed dry and that meant we could do a lot of laps and test many things. It feels good to almost have my first proper test with the team because I missed so much of the pre-season last year with the shoulder injury. We didn’t look for a lap time because my focus was working on the bike and doing jobs that now we won’t have to do during a race weekend. It’s been very positive but like always in testing you discover things that don’t always work so well. But that’s also positive because it means it’s not something to try again. My rhythm was fast even though we made so many changes I didn’t really go out with the same bike for two runs in a row. We move to Jerez now and half the job will be checking the things I liked here to see if they work on a different track. There should be more grip there and that’s really good because it means we can try things in a range of different conditions to confirm what works best for me and give us a good direction to go to Qatar with.”