Lowes fights to front row in Mugello
Sam Lowes secured his fourth front row start of 2021 and Augusto Fernandez qualified in 13th position as the Elf Marc VDS Racing riders battled tricky conditions during a tense Q2 session in Mugello.
- The crucial 15-minute Q2 session provided Lowes and Fernandez with a stern test of skill and bravery, with light rain spots falling throughout around the fast and flowing 5.2km Tuscany track.
- Lowes and Fernandez have shown strong race pace during the entire weekend and confidence is high that both will be leading contenders in tomorrow’s 21-lap race, which is scheduled to get underway at 1220pm local time.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ: 13th, 1:51.917
- This morning’s third and final Free Practice session got off to a flying start for Fernandez and he was immediately 0.7s faster than his day one benchmark to challenge for the top six throughout.
- With rain spots disrupting Q2, Fernandez expertly calculated where he could push on Dunlop’s slick tyres, and he finished only 0.5s from the second row with a best time of 1:51.917.
“I’m sure we can be competitive in the race”
“It was a difficult Q2, and we have to analyse why I was finding it so hard to make a better lap time. We need to make a good step in the Warm-up and find a clearer direction with the set-up and hope we can finish the race with a positive result. If we make the step we need tomorrow morning, I’m sure we can be competitive in what will be a long and demanding race.”
/// SAM LOWES: 2nd, 1:50.990, 8 laps
- Lowes made a sensational start in FP3 and on only his fourth lap he powered in a hot lap of 1:50.793, which secured him third position in a record-breaking session that left him just 0.177s outside of the new all-time lap record.
- Lowes used his wealth of experience in tricky conditions during Q2 and he was one of only two riders to set a time in the 1:50 bracket to claim a fourth front row start in Moto2 at Mugello.
“We’ve done a good preparing for the race”
“It turned out to be a funny session because the track was still offering a lot of grip, but there were some spots of rain that mentally made it very complicated. When you get spots of rain on your visor you have to be aware of that, but my pace has been strong all weekend and I’m happy to be on the front row. Raul Fernandez has been fast too, and it looks like he and I will be having a close battle. I feel we’ve done a good job preparing the bike for the race and I’m looking forward to a strong ride tomorrow. It’s always a long race in Mugello but I go into it with a lot of confidence.”