Lowes and Fernandez inside all-important top 14 on Friday in Qatar
On a day when both Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders had a chance to work on set-up, Sam Lowes and Augusto Fernandez were pleased to set the seventh and 13th fastest times on Friday.
- Five days on from a highly successful first round of the 2021 season for the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team, the Moto2 championship returned to Qatar’s impressive Losail International Circuit for round two.
- As witnessed last weekend, scorching afternoon temperatures of 37 degrees during FP1 placed extra emphasis on FP2, when riders could work in track conditions that will be relevant to Sunday’s race.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ, 13th – 1’59.748
- Having made substantial changes to bike set-up before last Sunday’s race, Augusto started this weekend with the same base setting. However, he didn’t feel comfortable aboard the bike in FP1, when he set the 17th fastest time (2’00.970).
- Working together with his crew, the 23-year old made further changes ahead of FP2 and immediately saw improvements with his times. Augusto ended the day 13th, with his 1’59.748 lap 1.2s faster than FP1.
“Let’s keep working in this direction”
“We started the day with the base from last week’s race, when we had changed many things. But it was not really working well. We were so far away. We decided to change again the base setting. The previous one was not working, and we kept hitting a wall. It seems like now it’s working a bit better. We are in Q2. Of course, we still have a lot of work to do. I really hope that this set-up selection is the correct one and we can be fighting for the top ten in this race. That would be great and a good step after these hard weeks. Let’s keep working in this direction.”
/// SAM LOWES, 7th – 1’59.265
- Fresh from the seventh win of his Moto2 career last weekend, Lowes used the evening FP2 session to play with a few settings, and changed the balance of the bike.
- The changes allowed Lowes and his crew to gain useful set-up information for the future. The Englishman also posted two runs in the all-important FP2, setting a best time of 1’59.265 to sit 0.724s off Friday pace setter Raul Fernandez.
“We’re feeling good and happy with the job done”
“Today we tried something different, a different balance of the bike. The conditions change quite a lot here in Qatar, and maybe the change wasn’t the best one. It was really important for us to try and we got some nice information and feedback. But I think we’ll go back to last weekend’s set-up and keep going with that. Overall, it’s been quite a positive day. I feel quite relaxed. The pace is nice. As always, with these back-to-back weekends, and with the three weekends of riding in a row, a lot of people are on the pace. We’re feeling good and happy with the job done. Maybe it wasn’t the perfect bike for tonight but it’s given us a good way for tomorrow.”