Top five spot on the Le Mans grid for Augusto
Augusto Fernandez will start from a season best fifth place on the grid for the French Grand Prix on a day of rapidly changing weather conditions in Le Mans.
Cold and damp conditions this morning meant Fernandez and teammate Lowes moved immediately into Q2 courtesy of their times set yesterday afternoon in the only full dry Moto2 session of the weekend so far.
Intermittent rain disrupted the 15-minute Q2 session but the speed and skill of the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team crew to quickly change tyres and settings helped Fernandez and Lowes to challenge for the top positions.
With track temperature not even hitting double figures this morning in a bitterly cold FP3, Augusto gave himself a big confidence boost heading into Q2 when he set the third quickest time.
As rain fell just minutes before Q2, Fernandez did a short outing on slick tyres before launching his time attack on Dunlop’s rain rubber and his commitment in tricky conditions was rewarded with his best starting position in 13 races.
“It turned out to be a good qualifying in the end considering the conditions were so difficult. The rain came just five minutes before Q2 and we prepared the bike with a wet setting and then it stopped, so we put the bike back to a dry set-up. I went out on slicks but then it started to rain again, so I came in and switched back to the wet set-up again! It meant I missed some minutes of the session and that’s a pity because in the wet you need laps to gain confidence and feeling. I was improving every lap, but I was also playing it quite safe because I didn’t want to make any silly mistakes that could have put me way down the grid. The second row is my best grid position of the year and I have good pace in the dry, but now we need to wait and see what happens with the weather tomorrow.”