Intense start for Márquez and Vierge in legendary Assen
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Alex Márquez made a strong start to a Dutch GP weekend in which he can take a fourth successive in 2019, while Xavi Vierge posts competitive times on the opening of practice in Assen
- After a cool and cloudy start to round eight this morning, Márquez and Vierge rode under clear blue skies and glorious sunshine throughout FP2.
- Lap times were exceptionally close this morning, with just over a second covering the 26 riders.
- Temperatures increased dramatically by degrees ahead of FP2, and the competition was just as intense, with a gap of just 0.8s splitting the top 20.
Alex Márquez: 9th, 1:37.864, 41 laps, 186 km.
- Márquez showed once again why he is the man to beat in Moto2 when a lap of 1:38.236 placed him top of the timesheets in an FP1 session halted for a lengthy spell following a big crash for Dimas Ekky Pratama.
- The Moto2 World Championship leader eventually finished fifth this morning but only 0.085s from top spot, which was secured by Sam Lowes.
- Márquez lapped 0.3s faster in the hotter conditions this afternoon and a final lap charge of 1:37.864 placed him ninth at the chequered flag but less than 0.2s outside of the top three.
- Following such a positive start to the action at the historic 4.5km Assen track, Márquez goes into tomorrow’s action convinced he can secure a fifth front row start of the campaign.
“Tomorrow morning will be important to make the fast lap for Q2”
“I’m happy with how today went. I expected it to be a difficult first day because normally here in Assen you need to find your rhythm and get into a flow. The first day can be strange while people take time to build up their rhythm and it is hard to find a good lap. I am in a good rhythm and this afternoon we made a good step but we still need to improve the set-up on the rear to find more confidence. Tomorrow morning will be important to make the fast lap for Q2 and my race pace is strong, though we need make another step to be ready for the race.”
Xavi Vierge: 16th, 1:38.043, 39 laps, 177 km.
- Vierge was only 0.7s away from the fastest pace this morning, but such is the high level of competitiveness in this year’s Moto2 battle, he was down in 20th position.
- The Spaniard made a huge step forward this afternoon and an impressive lap of 1:38.043 was almost one second faster than his pace from FP1.
- Vierge lapped less than 0.2s behind teammate Márquez but he missed the crucial top 14 to claim a provisional spot in Q2 tomorrow.
- Having come so close to the top 14 today, Vierge is in no doubt he can advance into the second 15-minute qualifying session in what is predicted to be scorching hot and humid conditions tomorrow.
“In FP2 we made a huge step forward and I felt even more confident”
“Today was quite good and we worked a lot on the rhythm for the race. I feel comfortable on the bike and in FP2 we made a big step forward and I felt even more confident. I feel close in terms of race pace but we need to find a little more performance for the one-off flying lap. The first goal tomorrow will be to move into Q2, even if we were very close today.”