Another one-two for Morbidelli and Márquez in Moto2 qualifying
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS celebrated its fourth one-two in Moto2 qualifying this year after Franco Morbidelli stormed to a dramatic pole position ahead of teammate Álex Márquez in a rain dominated qualifying session in Germany this afternoon.
The 45-minute session commenced on a drying track after earlier heavy downpours had saturated Sachsenring’s 3.671km new surface. But further torrential rain then threatened Morbidelli’s chance to convert his domination in dry conditions into a fifth pole position of his outstanding 2017 campaign.
The rain halted in time for Morbidelli and Márquez to engage in a tense and nail-biting shootout for pole position on a rapidly drying surface, which the Italian won with a daring final lap of 1’32.159.
Morbidelli, who was in untouchable form in a dry FP3 session this morning to obliterate the field by over 0.4s, gained over 0.3s in the final sector alone on his final flying lap to take his fifth pole ahead of tomorrow’s 29-lap race.
Morbidelli’s brave and blistering late attack denied Márquez his third pole of the season just when the Spaniard thought his 1’32.412 had secured him the top spot.
Márquez expertly judged where he could push in treacherous conditions in the latter stages of the session and his skills were rewarded with a crucial front row start, vital at Sachsenring, which is notoriously tough to overtake on given its tight and twisty nature.
Franco Morbidelli: 1st – 1’32.159
“It was very difficult at the start of qualifying because we had to start on wet tyres, even though we could clearly see there were a lot of dry patches around the track. It was hard to pick the right line and gauge where you could push, so I wasn’t very fast. Then it started to rain hard again and it looked like I was going to have to start tomorrow from around eighth position. That would have been a pity after we were able to demonstrate how strong we were in the dry this morning. I got more optimistic when I saw Xavier Simeon lapping at a very good pace, even though the track was completely wet. I just went out to push as hard as I could and the track was in decent enough condition to get pole position. I am very happy to take this pole position because it came in such difficult circumstances with the changing conditions.”
Álex Márquez: 2nd – 1’32.412
“I have mixed emotions right now because I felt I had done enough for pole position, but honestly I have to be happy to be on the front row. In the dry it has not been easy for me to be as competitive as I would like. We made a step this morning and I was hoping we could make more progress in a dry qualifying session. The conditions were very difficult and it was easy to make a mistake, so you had to judge perfectly how hard you could push. I lost a bit of time with Manzi on my final lap but the front row is still a very positive result.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“The weather certainly created a few tense moments for our team today but you can’t deny the changing conditions didn’t create a truly great show. It felt a bit like a race at the end of the session and you are happy and relieved in many respects when it is all over and the result is so good. Franco and Álex delivered a fantastic one-two for us, which is a very good result. There were quite a few candidates for the front row at the end of the session, but when it really mattered, Franco and Álex delivered brilliant performances in difficult conditions. Franco has proved to be fast in all conditions so far this weekend and we know he will be right in the mix for another win. Álex has not had the easiest weekend while he looks for a good setting but a front row will give him confidence for tomorrow. It’s another one-two in qualifying and now I hope we can repeat it tomorrow because that would be the perfect way to go into the summer break.”