Franco Morbidelli qualifies on the fifth row for the Australian Grand Prix
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider set the fifteenth fastest time in qualifying with teammate Tom Luthi set to start from twentieth position.
It was cool and windy with a very brief rain drizzle for tricky conditions at Phillip Island as Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Tom Luthi took to the 4.4km track for qualifying for the Australian GP.
Franco Morbidelli was 16th in the morning FP3 session completing valuable set-up work for the race. The Q1 qualifying saw Morbidelli push hard for a place in Q2 but the difficult conditions were a challenge and his best time of 1’30.518 saw him secure 15th on the grid and on target for a points scoring finish in the race.
Tom Luthi opened the day in 18th position in FP3 and he made some important set-up improvements in advance of qualifying. In qualifying Luthi posted his best lap on his ninth and final run despite still not being comfortable in the final sector. Luthi took a bump on the ribs during the session and went to the medical centre for checks. He qualified 20th with a time 1’30.958.
The Sunday morning warm-up will be at 11:40am with the 27 lap race, which is round 17 of the MotoGP world championship, scheduled for 4pm.
Franco Morbidelli: 15th, 1’30.518, +0.667, 39 laps, 173 km
“I hope to attack for a point position in the race”
“We have been trying some things and we improved a little bit from yesterday so this is good and we will improve more for tomorrow. I hope for good weather and to attack the points position in the race.”
Tom Luthi: 20th, 1’30.958, +1.107, 48 laps, 213 km
“The bike was better today but not easy in the tricky conditions”
“The last lap was good and I improved but I lost time in sector four otherwise I could have been closer, the times are quite tight today. The bike was better today but not easy with the tricky conditions and it is pity we are still too far back. Overall not a bad day and we learnt a lot although we still have to make a tyre choice for the race, I am not sure if the front tyre will last for the race distance.”