Sam Lowes closes 2020 with #PortugueseGP podium, Augusto Fernandez 8th
There was reason for cheer for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS at the final round of the 2020 Moto2 season as Sam Lowes shook off the pain caused by the two broken bones in his right hand to fight until the final lap of the Portuguese Grand Prix. After three pole positions, three victories and four further podiums it has been an excellent first season with the team.
Augusto Fernández also had reason to be proud after scoring eighth place at the beautiful Algarve International Circuit. It has been a solid campaign for the rider from the Balearic Islands after he scored six finishes in the top eight, and a best finish of fourth.
The excellent work completed by 23-year old Fernández and his crew showed in the first half of the race, when he started well from eighth on the grid. He moved into third, behind team-mate Lowes, on lap nine.
The two-time Moto2 race winner then started to suffer from deteriorating rear grip and he lost some places in the close fight for fourth. He crossed the finish line eighth, 9 seconds behind the race winner.
As a result of the eight points scored today, Fernández climbs to 13th in the final Moto2 standings with 71 points to his name.
“It was a good race. I enjoyed this one until the last laps. I was struggling from the beginning in the last sectors. I was losing a lot in the last two corners and then on the straight. With new tyres before the drop I was faster on the rest of the track. I was feeling great, passing people. When the rear tyre dropped and also the front, I was losing even more in the last two corners. I couldn’t fight back against any rider. The last laps were a bit frustrating because everyone was passing me on the exit of the last corner. Anyway, I want to say congrats to Sam and the team for third in the championship. It’s been a good year for them. It wasn’t the best for us. We haven’t been winning but we’ve been there. It’s going to be a good winter to analyse everything and we’ll be back stronger next year!”
The pain in Lowes’ hand was such he was unsure he could compete in the race after morning warm-up. But he dug deep and was fighting with leading duo Luca Marini and Remy Gardner from the early laps.
After a small mistake, Lowes then mounted an incredible late comeback. He posted his fastest lap of the race on lap 19 – a 1:42.540 – as he attempted to close in on the leading duo. He just fell short, coming home 3.8 seconds behind race winner Remy Gardner.
The result means Lowes ends the year in a fantastic third place in the Moto2 world championship with 196 points, nine less than new champion Enea Bastianini.
“I honestly think this was one of my best ever rides. There was a lot of pressure. I was really struggling in warm-up. I could hardly even ride the bike. This weekend I had done no laps. I had no idea what the pace could be. I have no idea how the team managed to set up the bike because I never managed to do three or four consecutive laps all weekend! I just have to say thank you to the team for this year. I hoped I could repay them with a good ride and a strong result. Everyone saw I didn’t give up until the end. That’s the most important thing for the team and the rider: just to do your best until the finish line and this is what we did!”