Lowes and Fernandez shine on first day of Teruel tussle
The first running of the Teruel Grand Prix started in sunny but breezy conditions today as Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS enjoyed a sensational day of practice at Motorland Aragon, with Augusto Fernandez fastest in FP1 and Moto2 title contender Sam Lowes heading the timesheets in FP2.
- Evaluating a new soft compound Dunlop rear tyre was one of the main priorities for both men today and the Belgian-Hispanic squad made a dream start when Fernandez led Lowes in a 1-2 at the end of an FP1 run in a pleasant ambient temperature of 20 degrees.
- Increased cloud cover for FP2 meant air temperature remained exactly the same this afternoon and Lowes seized top spot in spectacular style with a best lap that was less than 0.3s away from the all-time lap record he set on his way to pole position last weekend.
/// AUGUSTO FERNÁNDEZ: 12th, 1:52.623, 35 laps
- Fernandez made a blistering start in FP1 and a rapid lap of 1:52.623 propelled the Spaniard to the top of a practice leader board for the first time in 2020 while he assessed the endurance capability of Dunlop’s latest spec soft rear tyre.
- The 23-year-old worked on his race pace with the soft rear tyre again this afternoon and his excellent work and pace in the opening session meant he finished 12th on the combined standings to comfortably book a provisional place in tomorrow’s vital Q2 session.
“I feel the new soft rear tyre is an option for the race”
“This morning we worked immediately with the new soft rear tyre from Dunlop to understand its potential. I wasn’t particularly happy with the lap time because I don’t feel I took maximum advantage of the grip available. I continued to work the new tyre in FP2 to check its performance as an option for the race, but it wasn’t easy to find a rhythm with the red flags. I did a 52.9 with full race distance on the tyres and that’s not too bad and I think we can use it on Sunday. I felt with a new soft tyre I could have improved a lot compared to this morning, but we have to save some for the rest of the weekend. I don’t think my position in both sessions truly reflects where we are. I’m not fastest like this morning, but I feel I’m more competitive than the 12th position we ended the day in overall.”
/// SAM LOWES: 1st, 1:51.920, 32 laps
- Lowes began his quest for a third successive Moto2 victory in impressive fashion by finishing just over 0.1s behind Fernandez at the end of a positive FP1 during which he concentrated on fine-tuning the Kalex chassis set-up he used to win in Aragon just five days ago.
- Lowes only needed four laps of FP2 to fire in a lap of 1:51.920 and that wasn’t topped in a session halted by two red flags, with the second coming out to clear gravel off the racing line at turn nine after the Briton crashed unhurt with just under 10 minutes left on the clock.
“We did a very good job to finish fastest”
“It was a good day and we could try some different things on the bike to improve our package from last weekend. I also tried the new Dunlop rear tyre and we did a very good job as a team to finish fastest. It’s a pity I made the small mistake at the end but it’s better to get it out of the way on a Friday. I’m confident we can take another step in FP3, but I’ll sleep well tonight knowing myself and the team have already found a good direction.”