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02/06/2020 News

VDS in the starting blocks

Nearly three months after taking part in the Moto2 World Championship’s opening event in Qatar, the Marc VDS team is looking forward to the second round of a competition that is set to resume in July in Spain.

The season’s first Grand Prix, held at the Losail circuit, is not a fond memory for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS. After injuring himself while training this winter, Sam Lowes had to cut short his weekend in Qatar, while Augusto Fernandez fell during the first few laps of the race. “We were really looking forward to meeting up again in Thailand, so we could move on from this”, explains Joan Olivé, the team manager for this Belgian-Spanish structure. “Unfortunately, this second Grand Prix was never able to go ahead”. This was due to the Covid-19 epidemic, which brought the planet to a standstill. While the health crisis seems to be improving in several countries, the competition is now looking to start up again on 19 July at the Jerez circuit. “We are crossing our fingers for this to happen”, admits Olivé. “We all hope to get back out on the tracks again, we are ready and waiting…”. 

With the gradual easing of the lockdown across Europe, the Spanish manager can now start planning for the restart. “Not everyone has faced the same constraints up until now”, he notes. “In England, Sam has been able to regularly train outside. This has enabled him to work on his rehabilitation under nicer conditions. In Spain, we had less freedom, but with the space around his house, Augusto has been able to continue trial riding to keep his bike skills fresh. We now look forward to finding a time at a circuit so we can organize a practice session to bring the whole team together again. But we will need to wait a little longer before this can happen, because our team includes people from Spain, Italy, France, England, Belgium and even Japan… Crossing borders is still complicated because of the quarantine measures, but I am optimistic, I feel that things are moving in the right direction”. 

Before the competition can get underway again, Joan will also need to realign its structure. “We need to limit the number of people in the paddock, so a Moto2 team will not be able to have more than a dozen people, including its riders. Usually, there are 18 of us, or even 24 with the hospitality staff. We have a similar structure to a MotoGP team, because we have always ensured we can offer the best conditions for our riders. This year, we will unfortunately have to reallocate certain roles…”. As the championship looks set to include just a dozen races, the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS manager is also getting ready to brief his riders. “The races will be held one after another, so we will need to be very consistent to have a chance of winning the title”, he concludes. “Avoiding unnecessary risks so we do not compromise our chances, while regularly finishing on the podium…this is the balance we will need to achieve”.