Moto2: Sam Lowes completes two-day Valencia test
Sam Lowes got his preparations for the 2021 Moto2 season underway with a two-day test in Valencia.
The Brit visited the Spanish circuit with Elf Marc VDS Racing teammate Augusto Fernandez, with both riders using a stunning black and silver winter testing livery. The actual 2021 livery will be unveiled on March 15.
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Combined, Lowes and Fernandez completed over 320 laps of the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in cool but dry conditions.
Lowes, who ended 2020 in third spot overall, completed an 85-lap stint on day one and ended the two days with over 173 laps of data. During that time, he tested a variety of geometry, suspension and throttle modifications.
“It’s been a very good test because coming here the forecast wasn’t great but thankfully it stayed dry and that meant we could do a lot of laps and test many things," Lowes said. "It feels good to almost have my first proper test with the team because I missed so much of the pre-season last year with the shoulder injury. We didn’t look for a lap time because my focus was working on the bike and doing jobs that now we won’t have to do during a race weekend.
"It’s been very positive but like always in testing you discover things that don’t always work so well. But that’s also positive because it means it’s not something to try again. My rhythm was fast even though we made so many changes I didn’t really go out with the same bike for two runs in a row."
Fernandez completed nearly 150 laps over the two days and used this time to form an understanding and relationship with new crew chief Lucio Nicastro. The Spaniard established a new base setting and also worked on the chassis.
“I’ve been really looking forward to this test because it gave me the first chance to work with Lucio, who is my new crew chief for this season," Fernandez said. "We’ve been working to understand how each other works and concentrating on what I need from the bike to show my best potential. It’s been a very good test in that respect, and I think we found some interesting things both positive and negative.
"I’m not the fastest but that wasn’t the goal for this test. I felt I recovered some nice feelings on the bike that I was missing last year, and I was enjoying riding a lot. There’s still a lot of work to do but these two days have shown we can move forward with a plenty of confidence and optimism.”
Lowes and Fernandez will continue the build-up to the new season with a private test in Jerez next week before concluding preparations with an official three-day test in Qatar on March 19-21.
"We move to Jerez now and half the job will be checking the things I liked here to see if they work on a different track," Lowes added. "There should be more grip there and that’s really good because it means we can try things in a range of different conditions to confirm what works best for me and give us a good direction to go to Qatar with."
As things stand the 2021 season will begin at the Losail International Circuit, Qatar, on March 28, followed by round two at the same circuit the following weekend (April 4).