Lowes powers to pole position in Portugal
Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders Sam Lowes and Augusto Fernandez showed they have podium potential in tomorrow’s 23-lap Portuguese Grand Prix after both qualified inside the top six for the first European race of 2021.
- Lowes maintained his perfect pole position record in 2021 by powering to top spot for the third successive race in Q2, with Fernandez also excelling in the 15-minute session to claim a place on the second row.
- The Moto2 race will conclude the action at the Algarve International Circuit tomorrow and is scheduled to follow the MotoGP clash at 14:30pm local time.
/// AUGUSTO FERNNANDEZ: 6th, 1’43.259, 24 laps
- The Spaniard went into this afternoon’s crucial Q2 session with confidence high after a brilliant last lap of 1’43.239 in FP3 was only 0.3s away from the top three, with Fernandez making huge progress in finding more front-end feel this morning.
- With track temperatures almost 10 degrees hotter for Q2, Fernandez produced another impressive flying lap in the 1.43.2 bracket to claim a place on the second row, with a richly deserved sixth his best grid position in 11 races since the Styrian Grand Prix in Austria.
“Starting from the second row is very positive”
“It was a good Q2 session, and we have to be happy to be on the second row of the grid. We made a very big step with the bike compared to yesterday and I was much happier with how the front-end was working. It wasn’t easy to improve in Q2 because there was quite a lot of wind, but I still managed to make a good lap and starting from the second row is very positive. We can still improve in some areas to help me feel comfortable at setting consistent lap times. The good thing is we have the pace, but I’d like to feel like the times are coming a little bit easier. If we make another step in the Warm-up I’m sure we can have a strong race.”
/// SAM LOWES: 1st, 1’42.901, 27 laps
- A lap of 1’42.939 was the fourth quickest of FP3 and ensured Briton Lowes eased into Q2 where he produced yet another masterful display to secure his third pole in three races and 14th of his Moto2 career.
- A small improvement to a 1’42.901, despite a late crash at turn 11, means Lowes remains firmly on course to be the first rider in 20 years to win the opening three intermediate category World Championship races since Daijiro Kato did in the 250cc class back in 2001.
“I’m confident we can keep this great start to the season going”
“I’m really happy with this pole position because this weekend has been more difficult than the first two races in Qatar and we’ve had to work hard for this result. I’ve got to say a big thanks to the team because we have worked hard to be well prepared for the race by doing a lot of laps with a full fuel tank on worn tyres. But then we went out in Q2 with low fuel and new tyres and the feeling was incredible, so in all circumstances the team have given me a great package. Our race pace is good and I’m expecting a hard battle but I’m confident we can keep this great start to the season going.”