Lowes and Fernandez kick off final preparations in Qatar
Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Augusto Fernandez finished inside the top 10 on the opening day of official Moto2 testing in Qatar.
- Scorching hot temperatures exceeding 30 degrees meant it was a physically demanding start to the final pre-season showdown for Lowes and Fernandez, who completed 60 valuable data-gathering laps just a week ahead of the opening practice for the 2021 Moto2 World Championship.
- There are two more days of testing remaining for Lowes and Fernandez to complete fine-tuning work on their Kalex machinery ahead of the season opener in Doha on March 28.
/// AUGUSTO FERNÁNDEZ: 8th, 1’59.914, 33 laps
- The Spaniard was ninth fastest in the second session of the day, with a best time of 2:01.065 on his 12th and final lap set while he concentrated on gaining more front feeling and confidence.
- Fernandez made excellent progress throughout the third and final outing to improve by over a second under the Losail International Circuit floodlights.
- The 23-year-old set a best time of 1’59.914 that placed him an encouraging eighth on the combined standings and just 0.3s behind teammate Lowes.
“We made good improvements throughout the day”
“I’m happy with today although it ended with a very small crash. I was trying to pass another rider and I was on a line that was still a bit dirty and I fell. The bike was hardly damaged and I could go back out again and find my rhythm. We made good improvements throughout the day and in every session I felt better. We’ve still got some work to improve my feeling with the front and that is key here, particularly with the fast corners. But it was a good way to start this final test.”
/// SAM LOWES: 4th, 1’59.574, 27 laps
- An early tumble without consequences at turn six couldn’t prevent Lowes from setting the third fastest time in the second session.
- The Briton quickly rediscovered his confidence and the 30-year-old impressed again in the final session to shave almost a second off his earlier benchmark of 2:00.459 while experimenting with front and rear suspension modifications.
- Lowes ended the day with a best pace of 1’59.574 to finish fourth overall behind Remy Gardner, Aron Canet and Joe Roberts.
“I felt really good on the bike and very consistent”
“Today was a good start even though I had a small crash when I touched a dirty part of the track. It was not an ideal start and cost me a bit of time on track, but I felt good this evening. We tried a few things with settings that were positive and negative, but I felt really good on the bike and I was very consistent. We can still improve, and I will have a look at a different direction tomorrow, but it was a solid day, and we have something to build on for day two.”