Franco Morbidelli is fourteenth on opening day in Malaysia
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider was satisfied with his practice pace at Sepang with teammate Tom Luthi in 21st position.
No surprises for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Tom Luthi with the usual tropical heat and humidity and a lunch time rain shower dominating preparations for the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit.
Franco Morbidelli was quickly comfortable in FP1 and posted the 13th fastest time on demanding 5.5 km Sepang layout. The positive feeling with his Honda RC213V continued in FP2 with the Italian rider going 0.3s quicker with a best lap of 2’00.981 to finish 14th overall.
Tom Luthi also made a solid start by completing FP1 in 20th position and anticipated a step forward in the afternoon. However the 0.2s improvement was less than expected by Luthi who felt a change in grip levels after the track dried following the rain shower. Luthi finished 21st with a time off 2’01.743.
Tomorrow’s FP3 session will be at 10:55am –local time– and then FP4 at 2:30pm followed by qualifying at 3:10pm for round 18 of the MotoGP World Championship.
Franco Morbidelli: 14th, 2’00.981, +1.373, 34 laps, 188 km
“We still need to improve the set-up for the race”
“It was good day, it is a nice start to the weekend so I’m happy for that. I had good feeling with the bike and the track but we still need to improve and look at some set-up options for the race.”
Tom Luthi: 21st, 2’01.743, +2.135, 29 laps, 160 km
“The weather is quite special here and has an impact on conditions”
“It was a hot day and the weather is quite special here and has an impact on conditions. This afternoon I was expecting a better time and more progress from FP1 but there was rain between the two sessions so I’m wondering if the grip level changed. The track was dry for FP2 and overall we made some good steps comparing both the bikes and now we need to settle on a set-set-up for tomorrow.”