Strong start in Jerez for Lowes and Fernandez
Sam Lowes set the fastest time and Augusto Fernandez placed an excellent ninth as the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team kicked off round four of the 2021 Moto2 World Championship at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto today.
- Today’s action took place under cloudy but dry skies and Lowes and Fernandez comfortably claimed provisional places in tomorrow’s all-important Q2 session, with the Briton producing a stunning late attack in FP2 to head the combined rankings.
- The battle for pole position will get underway at 1535pm local time tomorrow and Lowes is aiming to be the first rider to take four poles from the opening four races in Moto2 since Stefan Bradl in 2011.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ: 9th, 1’41.954, 34 laps
- A narrow gap of just 0.987s split the top 21 riders in FP1 and a very positive 17-lap spell meant Fernandez ended the opening session less than a tenth away from the top three in seventh position.
- Fernandez opted to focus on improving rear grip at full lean angle this afternoon, but with track temperatures rising rapidly from 24 to 39 degrees compared to FP1, the 23-year-old secured a place inside the top 10 courtesy of his 1’41.954 set in the morning outing.
“I felt good immediately this morning”
“Today has been very positive because this morning I felt good immediately and even on the last run with used tyres I set my fastest time of the whole day. In the afternoon when it was hotter it made it more difficult to make a lap time and also some changes we made didn’t give me the feeling I was hoping for. I tried a new soft front tyre but like in FP1 I didn’t change the rear tyre and I was still able to be very fast at the end. That’s a big positive of the day for me because I was able to be fast and competitive with a lot of laps on the hard rear tyre. It will be interesting to see how much time we can gain with a new soft rear, but I’m satisfied with my pace.”
/// SAM LOWES 1st, 1´41.515, 33 laps
- Lowes was one of only seven riders to post a sub 1’42 lap this morning and the Briton was able to finish third on the timesheets, despite a late front-end fall on entry to turn six in windy conditions.
- The 30-year-old ended the day 0.160s clear of the chasing pack after a sensational final flying lap of 1’41.515 on the new spec soft compound Dunlop rear tyre made available for Free Practice and Qualifying this weekend moved him into top spot ahead of Remy Gardner.
“The team did a fantastic job to make me more comfortable”
“It’s been a good day and I’ve spent a lot of time working on my race pace. I didn’t feel great this morning and looking at my improvement this afternoon, the team did a fantastic job to make me more comfortable and more confident. I’d like a little bit more feeling to help me stop the bike better tomorrow but overall, it has been a very positive first day and I’m looking forward to trying for another pole tomorrow.”