Lowes continues fast form in weather-hit Valencia practice
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS star Sam Lowes found himself fighting for P1 again on day one of the inaugural European Grand Prix in Valencia, with Augusto Fernandez rebuilding his confidence after a big crash in wet, cold and windy conditions this morning.
- Moto2 World Championship leader Lowes showed the fast form that has taken him to three successive victories in 2020 when he set the second fastest time on a first day of Free Practice dominated by mixed conditions at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit.
- Lowes was only beaten to top spot by the slender margin of 0.057s on a first day that ended with teammate Fernandez saving his strength and energy for a fresh attack for Q2 in tomorrow’s third and final Free Practice, which gets underway at 11:55am local time.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ: 26th, 1’38.989, 19 laps
- Fresh from a recent successful arm pump operation, it was a painful opening day for Fernandez when he suffered a heavy blow to his left foot following a vicious high-side in wet conditions at the final turn in FP1.
- The 23-year-old bravely completed 11 laps this afternoon, but with track conditions still far from ideal, he decided to stop early in FP2 to avoid taking unnecessary risks ahead of tomorrow’s crucial FP3.
“I will grit my teeth and try and get into Q2”
“It has been a complicated first day. This morning I was improving with each lap in the rain but in those conditions you can pay for a small mistake and that’s what happened when I crashed. I hit my left foot hard and I have cracked a bone in the big toe. I wanted to check my condition this afternoon, but I had problems changing gear with the left foot and also, I was finding it difficult to position myself in the right place for left corners. We decided to stop ahead of FP3 where we should have better conditions. If there is pain tomorrow we will grit our teeth to try and get into Q2, but for now I will rest and try to recover well.”
/// SAM LOWES: 2nd, 1:36.861, 25 laps
- The Briton was sixth fastest this morning while working on his wet weather base setting and a personal best time of 1:49.625 left him only 0.2s outside of the top three.
- Lap times improved by 13 seconds on a dry surface in FP2 and Lowes was over 0.6s clear of the field for a long period of the second session, but a crash at turn eight meant he was overhauled late on by title rival Enea Bastianini.
“I’m happy with our work in both conditions”
“It wasn’t an easy day because at the start of FP1 the track was quite wet but this afternoon it was more or less dry. I feel happy with the work we did in both conditions and if it rains tomorrow, I am sure we can be strong. And in the dry I was immediately fast and. that gives me a lot of confidence. I made a small mistake in the second session because I just went a little bit wide at turn eight and hit a damp patch and lost the front. The good news is I’m fine, but we can work on the balance of the bike to get a little bit more stopping performance. We have good information in both conditions and whatever the weather I’m looking forward to it.”