Lowes ‘in the mix’ on the first day of the Emilia Romagna GP
The British riders sits fourth fastest on the combined standings after FP2 while Augusto Fernández makes a step forward with race pace in the afternoon.
- The workload of the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders was different for this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the second race weekend in two weeks at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, as the Moto2 field had a softer Dunlop rear tyre in their allocation.
- Friday’s two free practice sessions were held in perfect conditions. The pace was extremely fast with Sam Lowes setting the fourth fastest time on a hard rear tyre in FP2, while Augusto Fernández chose to work on race set-up and did not do a time attack.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ, 16th, 1’36.660, 38 laps
- Augusto came into the 50th grand prix of his career with two specific aims. The first was to improve his feeling at the start of the race, so he spent many laps riding with a full tank of fuel.
- The second was to assess Dunlop’s softer rear tyre option to see whether it is a viable option for Sunday’s 25-lap race. In both cases he completed his work schedule for the day.
- Having set the 12th fastest time of FP1, Fernandez and his Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS decided to work solely on race set-up in the afternoon.
- The three-time grand prix winner didn’t fit a new rear tyre during FP2, meaning he finished the day 16th on the combined free practice standings, 0.704s slower than first place. But Augusto was nonetheless pleased and feels he has made a clear step with his race set-up for Sunday.
“We improved a lot. So I want more tomorrow”
“I’m quite happy with the first day. It’s not the result that we want but we know we have been working for the race, always with used tyres. We didn’t even put a new one in for FP2. We have to be conscious of this. We have improved the pace a lot as well as my confidence with the bike from last weekend. We have to analyse the pace of the other riders. In the time attack they were so fast today. We have to check to see if they also improved in the race pace or it’s just one lap. Anyway, I didn’t make a time attack. I’m happy with the day. I had a nice pace. We improved a lot. So I want more tomorrow. The first goal is a time attack to be in Q2 and then qualify well for the race.”
/// SAM LOWES 4th , 1’36.161, 40 laps
- Last weekend’s pole sitter started this weekend full of confidence after his stunning eighth place in the San Marino Grand Prix. Lowes was fast from the very start of Friday morning, posting the third fastest time in FP1.
- The Briton, who turned 30 years old on Monday, spent the morning assessing Dunlop’s soft rear tyre option and the afternoon on the hard. Lowes didn’t want to make changes to his set-up so he could assess the tyre options accurately.
- It was another solid performance from Lowes in FP2 as he spent the full session on the same hard rear tyre. He quickly came to the conclusion that he will favour that option for Sunday’s race.
- He improved his best lap time by 0.3s from FP1 to FP2, posting 20 laps across two runs. His fastest time of 1:36.161 was good enough for 4th, two tenths of a second slower than Luca Marini in first place.
“It was another solid day and we’re in the mix!”
“A very good day from the pace side. We improved a lot in the afternoon. We only used the hard tyre and we kept the same tyre in for all of the session and it was very good. Regarding the new soft tyre that Dunlop brought for this weekend, it could be good for tomorrow and good for qualifying and a quick lap time. But for the race we are looking at the harder one because my rhythm was really good with it. I think the grid will be 50/50. Some guys will use the softer rear, others will use the harder. Overall, I’m very happy. It was another solid day and we’re in the mix!”