Alex Márquez makes strong start in hot and sunny Spain
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS kicked off the crucial European phase of the 2019 Moto2 World Championship in Jerez today, with a superb ride into the top six from Alex Márquez, while Xavi Vierge posted consistent times to fight near the top 10.
- Scorching hot conditions presented the perfect opportunity for Márquez and Vierge to assess a new wider rear tyre made available by Dunlop for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
- Both riders worked exclusively with the soft front and rear tyre specification this morning before evaluating the performance potential of the harder front in significantly hotter conditions for FP2.
- The fastest lap times of the day on Jerez’s new asphalt were posted in cooler conditions this morning, with track temperature soaring close to 50 degrees in the afternoon.
- The intense and close competition in Moto2 was evident again today, with the top 21 in both sessions split by less than one second.
Alex Márquez: 6th, 1:41.974, 37 laps, 164 km
- Márquez was quickly into a fast groove this morning, with an impressive lap putting the number 73 on top of the timesheets for a period in FP1.
- Márquez eventually finished the morning session sixth (1:41.974)and just 0.155s behind a new all-time lap record set by Jorge Navarro.
- With an increase in track temperature of almost 15 degrees for FP2, the new Jerez surface offered slightly less grip, but Márquez still registered an excellent time of 1’42.244 on his last flying lap.
- The Spaniard’s strong FP2 rhythm was only 0.011s away from taking first place away from Marcel Schrotter.
“I was fast and constant with the new rear tyre”
“It was a really good and positive day for us and the most important aspect is I was fast and constant with the new rear tyre from Dunlop. I adapted very quickly to it and already we have a clear idea of what our tyre choice will be for the race on Sunday, so that is one big and important job already done. Tomorrow we need to focus on improving in sector three which is where I am losing some time, but I am really happy and feeling really positive for the rest of the weekend.”
Xavi Vierge: 24th, 1:42.859, 36 laps, 159 km
- Vierge completed 19 laps in two runs on track this morning while he got to grips with Dunlop’s new wider rear tyre, which has been designed to create a larger contact patch for improved grip.
- Xavi set a best of 1’42.859 in a succession of consistent laps in FP1 and he finished just one second away from the best time and just 0.5s outside of the top 10.
- Switching to the harder Dunlop front tyre this afternoon, Vierge didn’t feel completely comfortable with the change as a strong wind hit the Circuito Jerez Angel-Nieto for the second session.
- In FP2, Vierge was still able to challenge close to the top 10 with a best lap of 1’42.928.
“We are closer than the classification shows”
“It has been a bit of a hard day because we started with a different setting from the pre-season test here and I didn’t feel comfortable in FP1. The bike wasn’t turning when I released the front brake but we made a step this afternoon. The hotter conditions meant the grip was lower, but anyway there are some positives to take forward into the weekend. I tried to be calmer today because on Friday in the last two races I made mistakes and I finished both sessions here without any problems and that was important to collect a lot of information. We are closer than the classification shows and we are working in the correct way to make the bike more competitive and I’m sure I will be stronger tomorrow.”