Augusto Fernandez primed for fourth row fight back
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS’s Augusto had to contend with hot, clear and blustery conditions on the first qualifying day of the year at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
The Majorcan rider used the day’s first session to assess different tyre options for Sunday’s 20-lap race. Thanks to his brilliant effort on Friday afternoon, Augusto automatically qualified for Q2 with the 9th fastest time on the combined free practice leader board.
Qualifying started well, with Augusto ending his first run in the 15-minute Q2 session with the fourth fastest time. But in a really competitive session he soon dropped to 15th.
Only a strong late lap, posted behind Thomas Luthi, promoted him three places to 12th. His 1:58.683effort was just 0.547s slower than pole sitter Joe Roberts.
“In terms of lap time I’m quite happy because we are improving in every session. But the position is not the best one. I’m on the fourth row. The first laps of tomorrow’s race will be difficult but I feel as though I have the pace. I feel good with the bike with used tyres so I think we can do a good race tomorrow. I hope to gain a lot of positions in the early laps. The first five laps will be so important. Then I’ll make my race pace and fight for some good positions!”