Lowes to launch Valencia victory bid from front row
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Sam Lowes will start from the front row of the grid for the fifth race in a row in 2020 after conquering tricky track conditions in today’s Q2 session at Valencia.
Rain played another decisive role today and torrential overnight downpours meant the Ricarcdo Tormo surface was still soaking wet when FP3 got underway, with Lowes opting to complete just two laps and teammate Augusto Fernandez unfortunately ending his participation in the European Grand Prix because of a left foot injury.
Lowes qualified in third position on a tricky track surface still littered with damp patches and another win in tomorrow’s 25-lap race will make him the first British rider to win four successive intermediate class World Championship races since legend Mike Hailwood in 1966.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ:
- Fernandez was determined to ride through the pain barrier today after fracturing the big toe on his left foot in a heavy fall at the final corner in FP1 on Friday morning.
- But after consulting with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS management and MotoGP medical staff ahead of FP3 this morning, Fernandez took the decision to withdraw from the European Grand Prix to concentrate on getting himself in the best possible physical condition for next weekend’s second Valencia race.
“The pain increased a lot since yesterday and there was a risk of making it worse”
“I’m sad and disappointed about what happened, but I think we made the right decision by not taking any chances and concentrating on the recovery to be back next weekend. The pain increased a lot since yesterday and there was a risk of making it worse. It’s a bitter taste to miss a race, but better to do it now and hopefully be back for the final two. I will follow the medical advice to recover and be ready next Friday.”
/// SAM LOWES: 3rd, 1:39.119, 11 laps
- Having finished second yesterday to get directly into Q2, Lowes produced another stunning challenge for a third pole position in three races and a hot lap of 1:39.353 moved him into pole position with just two minutes remaining.
- As lap times tumbled on a rapidly drying track, Lowes improved again over his next two laps and his final attack was only two-thousandths-of-a-second away from Joe Roberts in second place and under 0.2s away from pole position.
“I’m happy to be on the front row again”
“By the time Q2 started the track was drying a lot and throughout the session the times just got faster and faster. I could have maybe pushed a bit more in a couple of places where the track was quite difficult to understand but I’m just happy to be on the front row again in such an important part of the Championship. It’s the best possible way to start this final triple header. We need to make the perfect plan for tomorrow because we have a couple of ideas to improve and hopefully it will be dry in the Warm-up, so we can try some things because we’ve not had much dry track time. I’ve done a good job and the team has been working very well and I’m looking forward to the race. With the lack of dry time we might see some different people at the front, but I think in the last six or seven laps the strongest will be there again. I’m sure I can be strong and fighting to the end.”