Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS ready for Qatar premiere
Augusto Fernandez is looking forward to demonstrating that all the hard work completed during an intensive pre-season can be converted into a strong start in this weekend’s opening race in Qatar. Sam Lowes is expected to pass a medical examination on Thursday.
- The moment of truth has arrived for the Moto2 riders who will compete in the first race of the year under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit on Sunday.
- Due to the cancellation of the premier class race because of travel restrictions put in place to counter the coronavirus outbreak, the Moto2 race will be the main event at this year’s Qatar Grand Prix. Moto3 and the Asia Talent Cup are the other two categories which will compete on track at the Losail International Circuit.
- Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS starts the 2020 season as the defending champion in the intermediate category, which was won last year by Alex Márquez. The team has three titles in Moto2 and in just a few days the fight will commence to win a fourth one.
/// AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ:
- This will be the second time that the Spanish rider has competed in the Qatar Grand Prix after his first appearance in Doha one year ago.
- In 2019, Fernandez finished the race in fifth place after making a good comeback from starting 10th on the grid.
- The number 37 is eager to reap the rewards of what has been an intense pre-season in which the rider and team have carried out a great deal of work on adapting to each other in their new relationship. Hard work has also focused on the key area of technical preparation to face the 2020 season with the maximum possible chance of success.
“The objective for this weekend is to try to finish as far ahead as possible in Sunday’s race”
“I’m really looking forward to starting the championship! We still have a lot of work ahead of us before the race. I think the Moto2 class will be very close. While it’s true that test results often must be taken with a pinch of salt, there is a long list of riders who have shown they can go very fast, especially on one lap, and may be fighting for the front positions. I am looking forward to seeing how the official tests go as it will allow us to see things in a more realistic light. The objective for this weekend is to work on the same line as during the test and try to finish as far ahead as possible in Sunday’s race. It’s true that it will be a bit of a strange Grand Prix because the MotoGP race is not taking place, but that shouldn’t alter our dynamics at all.”
/// SAM LOWES:
- Lowes will undergo a medical check this Thursday, after which the viability of his participation in the first Grand Prix of the season will be assessed.
- During a private practice session at Jerez, the Brit suffered an unfortunate fall which resulted in an injury to his right shoulder (fractured humerus without displacement and complete rupture of all scapulohumeral ligaments). Since then, Lowes has worked tirelessly on his recovery so that he can get back on his Kalex machine at the Qatar track.
- Lowes has participated in six races in Qatar (five in Moto2 and one in MotoGP), with sixth last year and in 2014 his best in the intermediate category.
“My main goal was to get to Qatar and start the weekend”
“It has been a complicated winter because I was looking forward to working with my new team and preparing for the season very well, but things went wrong with the injury. Luckily the team is fantastic and my team-mate Augusto has done an immense job trying out all the new parts without my help. I have worked very hard on the recovery process and my shoulder is getting better and better. After the injury, my main goal was to get to Qatar and start the weekend. If the doctors consider me fit to compete, it will be a goal fulfilled. The next goal, if my shoulder allows me, would be to try to finish the race and ideally score some points. But in these cases, more than ever you have to go slowly, be realistic and see how the shoulder responds.”
/// Circuit Information:
. Length: 5380 meters
. Width: 12 meters
. Curves: 16 (10 right ; 6 left)
. Longest line: 1068 meters
. Circulation: Clockwise
. Motorcycle Race 2: 20 laps
. Last Moto2 winner: Lorenzo Baldassarri
. Circuit record in Moto2: Lorenzo Baldassarri (1’58.635)
/// Moto2 Agenda of the Grand Prix (local time):
FP1: Friday 14h20
FP2: Friday 18h00
FP3: Saturday 13h50
Q1: Saturday 18h00
Q2: Saturday 18h25
WU: Sunday 13h40
RACE: Sunday 18h00