Fifth place for Augusto Fernández in #SanMarinoGP, Sam Lowes fights back up to eighth
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team-mates Augusto Fernandez and Sam Lowes perform brilliantly at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, with the Majorcan rider equaling his best result of the season while the Englishman produces a heroic comeback from a pitlane start.
Blue skies and ambient temperatures of 28 degrees Celsius greeted the riders for the seventh round of the 2020 Moto2 season, the first with spectators watching from the grandstands since MotoGP restarted in July.
All riders had to contend with a new track surface for the first time over a 25-lap race distance. The leaders’ pace was extremely fast with the race 30 seconds faster than 2019. Both Team Estrella 0,0 Marc VDS riders rode exceptionally to finish in the top eight.
Starting from sixth on the grid, Fernández made a steady start and lost two positions on the first lap. While unable to run the same pace as the leaders in the early laps, the rider from the Balearic Islands was immediately involved in the fight for fifth.
On lap 14 he passed Thomas Luthi at Curvone (turn 11) for sixth, the fastest corner on the track. When Marcel Schrotter crashed, he picked up another place.
Fernández was running the same rhythm as the leading riders in the final five laps and he crossed the line just 8.3 seconds behind race winner Luca Marini, the closest he has been to first place at the checkered flag all season.
Fernández stays in 14th place in the World Championship with 36 points, just one behind Marcel Schrotter in 13th.
“I’m happy to be back in the top five again. It was a hard race. The conditions were a bit different than in practice. It was hard to be in the 1:36s and I struggled to make low 1:37s. Looking at the weekend I think we were a bit better than a top five. Anyway, after the zero points scored in Austria it’s important to be back here and to get the feelings back again. We have to analyse everything well to be better next week. Thanks to the team for the great job and we want more next weekend!”
Despite qualifying in pole position yesterday, Sam Lowes was forced to start from pit lane due to a penalty from the Styrian Grand Prix. As a result, the Englishman lost 12.5 seconds to the leaders on lap one.
The 29-year old quickly found his rhythm and began passing riders ahead. He was the fastest rider on track on several occasions and was riding inside the top 15 places by the 19th lap.
Lowes fought doggedly to the end. He caught a group of riders in the final five laps, and passed them all to finish a fantastic eighth. In total he overtook 16 riders in 25 laps.
The result sees Lowes remain in sixth place in the World Championship with 67 points. He now sits 45 points behind leader Luca Marini.
“It was a nice race. The first time I checked the pit board was with three laps to go because I was passing many people! I’m really happy with the way I’ve come back from Austria because that was a low point. I managed to use this weekend in a good way. I had a good qualifying, got pole position and was strong. I came back to eighth place in the race, which was nice. The bike was working great. The team did a fantastic job all weekend. We tried many different directions and put the best package together for the race. Thanks to them. I enjoyed the race a lot. Of course, we don’t go racing to finish in eighth but from pit lane that was good. It’s been a really positive weekend and I look forward to the next one and fighting either further up.”