Franco Morbidelli finishes eighteenth on opening day in Australia
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider is looking for more speed despite his opening day pace with teammate Tom Luthi in 21st position.
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Tom Luthi began preparations for the Australian Grand Prix in cool, sunny and dry conditions with their first MotoGP outings on the Phillip Island Circuit.
Franco Morbidelli finished 18th in the opening FP1 session on the fast 4.4 km seaside track. But despite making an impressive 0.9s improvement in the late afternoon FP2 session the Italian did not move forward from 18th overall after a highly competitive session. Morbidelli’s best lap was 1’30.787.
Tom Luthi was disappointed with his 21st position in FP1 and is certain that the productive work completed in FP2 to solve set-up issues will be a solid platform for qualifying. Luthi gained 0.5s in FP2 to finish the day 21st overall with a time of 1’31.539.
Tomorrow’s FP3 session will be at 11:55am -local time- and then FP4 at 3:30pm followed by qualifying at 4:10pm for round 17 of the MotoGP World Championship.
Franco Morbidelli: 18th, 1’30.787, +1.656, 43 laps, 190 km
“Our focus is on improving the pace for the race”
“I struggled a lot today with a major problem with pumping on the rear so it was difficult. But the good thing is that with the hard tyre we were decently fast so we need to understand why this is happening. Anyway it is nice to ride a MotoGP bike at this track but our focus is on improving the pace and performance for the race.”
Tom Luthi: 21st, 1’31.539, +2.408, 41 laps, 182 km
“We have found some interesting things for our set-up”
“We started quite well in FP1 with a good speed and I thought we could improve but we worked in the wrong direction with the set-up so we have to re-balance the bike for tomorrow. We have found some interesting things to understand the direction we have to go. I hope the weather will be stable tomorrow so we can do some laps and prepare for qualifying and a good position on the grid.”