Mature fourth place for Sam Lowes in Andalusia, Augusto Fernandez fights back into the points
Sam Lowes and Augusto Fernandez both repeat last weekend’s results in the third Moto2 race of 2020, with the Englishman picking up excellent points for his world championship challenge and the rider from the Balearic Islands mounting another impressive comeback.
The Circuit of Jerez-Angel Nieto was the scene of the first ever Andalusian Grand Prix and gave the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders a chance to improve on their times and performances from the Spanish Grand Prix at this track one week ago.
Track conditions were even more demanding on this occasion, with ambient temperatures of 34 degrees and track temperatures of 53 degrees greeting riders for the 23-lap Moto2 race.
Augusto Fernandez knew he would be required to fight today when starting from 23rd on the grid for the second race in a row. A steady start saw him end the first lap in the same position.
The rider from the Balearic Islands never gave up, however, and soon started overtaking riders and showing a pace capable of the top ten positions by mid-race.
By lap 20, the 22-year old was in the point scoring positions and late moves on Edgar Pons and Remy Gardner promoted him to 13th place.
“I think we have to be happy because we improved the pace a lot from last weekend. I think we made a very good step. I could maintain the pace better and I was stronger in the braking areas. We had been working a lot on that point. The late race pace was good, I was overtaking riders until the end. I think we are missing a bit of confidence and a bit more in the time attack. We’re also missing a bit of pace but we could have been in the top ten at the end with this pace. Thanks to the team. We’ll keep working. We won’t give up and I’m already thinking about Brno!”
It was a tough start for Sam, who dropped from second on the grid to sixth place at turn one. But the former World Supersport World Champion was soon up to speed, passing both Aron Canet and Jorge Navarro on the first lap to sit fourth.
After suffering in the first five laps of last weekend’s race, Sam showed much better speed here, staying within two seconds of the leading trio. However a number of front-end slides affected his pace in the middle of the race.
Lowes did fight until the end and reduced the gap to Marco Bezzecchi in third place from 1.5 seconds on lap 19 to half a second at the chequered flag. Fourth place takes him to seventh in the championship, 24 points behind first.
“Of course I’m happy with result in the end. In the last laps I was stronger. And I improved the first laps from last week. The start was poor but I improved the first laps and overtook a few riders. In the middle of the race I was not strong and lost a little bit with the front tyre. I was struggling a lot and didn’t feel good. I just tried to stay smooth and in the end I was catching third place back up. It’s been a positive two races. We need to obviously keep working but it’s a good finish, good points and I’m already looking forward to Brno.”