Augusto riding with confidence on blustery Barcelona Friday
A strong and cool wind couldn’t prevent Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Sam Lowes and Augusto Fernandez from setting a hot pace on the first day of Moto2 practice at the fast and flowing Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
With powerful gusts gaining strength throughout the day, Fernandez coped superbly with the unpredictable conditions to challenge for the top three in both sessions and he’s now aiming to repeat his 2019 pole position in tomorrow’s qualifying action.
Augusto gave himself a belated birthday boost this morning when a lap of 1’45.257 placed him inside the top three for long periods of the opening practice session.
The Spaniard, who celebrated his 23rd birthday earlier this week, was satisfied with his speed on both the soft and hard Dunlop rear tyre options and he was able to lap just 0.2s outside of the top three with a best lap of 1’44.858.
Fernandez was also working on finding the optimum chassis and electronics set-up this afternoon and that progress was rewarded when he delivered his best time of the second session on his 19th and final lap on worn tyres.
The influence of the strong wind though was clear this afternoon and Fernandez resisted the temptation to fit a new soft tyre, with only nine riders out of the 30-strong field able to improve their pace compared to FP1.
“It was a good first day and I feel confident with the bike. It was quite windy this morning, but the conditions were definitely worse for the second session and it made it a bit harder to make fast lap times. Compared to this morning the times were quite a bit slower, but we tried to understand even in those conditions if the changes we made from FP1 had improved our package. I feel we made a very good step and we didn’t use a new rear tyre in FP2 because we knew it was going to be difficult to improve from this morning in those conditions. We expect less wind tomorrow and I’m looking forward to the time attack, but already we have a good base to work with for the rest of the weekend.”