Sixth place on the Portimao grid for Augusto
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.
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.
“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.”