Lowes lays down early marker at magical Mugello
Sam Lowes topped the timesheets to give the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team the perfect start to this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, with teammate Augusto Fernandez firmly in the hunt for the top six again.
- Gloriously sunny weather in the rolling hills of Tuscany meant conditions were perfect as the Moto2 World Championship made a welcome return to the spectacular Mugello track for the first time since 2019.
- Lowes, who topped FP2 for the third race in a row, and Fernandez are confident they can fight for top places on the grid when Q2 commences tomorrow afternoon at 1535pm local time.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ: 10th, 1’52.351, 35 laps
- A successful one-day test in Barcelona was the ideal pre-race boost for Fernandez coming to Italy and his confidence shone through when a late lap of 1’52.351 slotted him into sixth position this morning.
- Fernandez decided not to complete a time attack in FP2, but he was still able to lap consistently on used tyres in the mid-1:52 bracket and at the close of play he was less than 0.4s from returning to the top six on the combined classification.
“Hopefully we can take a big advantage from a new tyre tomorrow”
“It was a hard day, but I was expecting it because I was trying to recover the feelings of this track. I made a very good FP1, and I was happy to be in P6. Our strategy for the afternoon was to focus on used tyres so we can have two soft rear tyres for Q2. I tried to find a good pace and to understand the track better by riding alone and while we missed a fast lap at the end we didn’t even try a time attack. Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to take a big advantage from the new tyre and improve a lot.”
/// SAM LOWES: 1st, 1’51.385, 34 laps
- An impressive first day display from Lowes started in FP1 when a lap of 1’52.004 put him in P1 before he ended the opening session in a strong third while working on rear tyre options and front-end settings.
- The 30-year-old needed only three laps of FP2 to improve his speed from this morning and a stunning last lap attack of 1:51.385 gave Lowes a commanding advantage of 0.184s over his nearest challenger.
“I’m happy with my pace on the first day”
“It was a really good day, and I was able to improve a lot this afternoon. I was fast with used tyres and that’s positive. We tried a new setting on the front of the bike and that gave me a much better feeling, so I’m happy with my pace on the first day. The track temperature was quite hot this afternoon and I managed to find some good feeling. We can still find some better front feeling tomorrow but we’ve got some good data to look at tonight that should help us improve.”