Lowes and Fernandez make exceptional start in Le Mans
Sam Lowes posted the fastest time and teammate Augusto Fernandez was third quickest as the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team enjoyed a sensational start to the French Moto2 Grand Prix at the legendary Le Mans track today.
- On a day dominated by cool, cloudy and windy conditions, only one other rider was able to lap within 0.2s of Briton Lowes, with Fernandez building on the success of a recent private test in Motorland Aragon to fight for the top three in both sessions.
- With rain predicted for tomorrow, Lowes and Fernandez may well have already claimed crucial spots in Q2, which is scheduled to take place at 1535pm local time tomorrow.
///AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ: 3rd, 1’36.605, 40 laps
- Fernandez was one of only five riders to set a lap in the 1.37 bracket this morning, as the 30-strong field built confidence on a 4.1km surface low on grip after overnight rain.
- An impressive lap of 1’36.605 during an endurance test on Dunlop’s soft compound rear tyre put Fernandez at the top of the leader board for half of FP2 and the 23-year-old completed a brilliant Friday inside the top three.
“I felt good throughout the day”
“Today has been very positive for me. We were lucky with the weather because we got to do a lot of work in dry conditions on slick tyres, even though this morning the track was damp in parts. This afternoon the times were very competitive, and I felt good throughout the day. We still have to decide whether the rear tyre choice for the race is the soft or the hard. I did a long run on the soft tyre this afternoon and made a good lap time when I wasn’t really looking for it. I was just trying to be fast and consistent while gaining information about tyre life. I finished the session with the hard tyre and while the times are a bit slower, I could be more constant. I have a good feeling and am looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”
/// SAM LOWES: 1st, 1’36.307, 41 laps
- Lowes was third this morning after completing a session high 21-laps and his best time of 1’37.678 was less than a second off the race lap record, despite track temperature only registering a chilly 11 degrees.
- Lowes delivered another commanding performance this afternoon while assessing the performance of Dunlop’s two rear tyre options and his quickest pace of 1’36.307 was less than 0.2s away from the three-year-old all-time lap record held by Pecco Bagnaia.
“I feel strong and happy with the job done today”
“I’m really happy with how today has gone. The track wasn’t easy to understand this morning because there were still quite a few damp patches. But I did a lot of laps because I wanted to understand where you could push in those circumstances because we know the race on Sunday could be in any condition. I did some good times on both tyre options this afternoon and that gives us some good information to look at tonight. I feel strong and happy with the job done. We can improve in the third sector but for day one in difficult conditions I’m happy and we can look forward to tomorrow.”