Sixth place for Augusto on opening day in Austin
Mixed conditions and a bumpy surface made it a challenging but positive first day for the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin today.
Damp and low grip conditions dominated Friday morning’s FP1 and lap times were nearly four seconds slower than Franco Morbidelli’s four-year old race record lap.
As the track dried throughout FP1, Augusto Fernandez was one of 18 out of the 29 riders to set his best time on his final flying lap and a 2’14.190 placed him fifth in the morning.
Having quickly acquainted himself with COTA on his first visit to the spectacular Texas track, Augusto impressed again in FP2, and the 24-year-old ended an encouraging day one less than 0.3s outside of the top three.
“This is a new track for me and it is certainly not an easy one but I’ve got to say it is one I’m really enjoying, despite the bumps. It’s the same for everybody but there is no doubt that it disturbs you a little when you ride. Today was all about getting used to the track and learning the correct lines and considering my lack of experience here I’m very happy with the lap time. We still have a big margin to improve from myself and the bike and I need to understand how I can be faster. The good thing is I’m competitive and we could not really have asked for more on this first day.”