Franco Morbidelli splashes to eighteenth position on day one in Valencia
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider gained valuable wet track experience in difficult conditions with teammate Tom Luthi in 23rd place overall.
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Tom Luthi faced a wet, cold and dismal day with almost constant rain for the opening day of practice for the Valencia GP at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit. The amount of standing water forced a red flag stoppage in FP1 until the rain eased.
Franco Morbidelli made cautious start in the treacherous conditions and completed FP1 in eighteenth position. With no improvement in the weather for FP2 there was no opportunity to go faster with a focus on evaluating rain tyres and set-up in anticipation of similar conditions for Sunday’s race. Morbidelli set his best time of 1’41.713 in FP1.
Tom Luthi was also wary of the extreme conditions and standing water in FP1 which he finished in 23rd position. Even the though the heavy rain at the beginning of FP2 later eased Luthi decided to conserve his rain tyre allocation in preparation for tomorrow’s qualifying session. Luthi posted his best lap of 1’43.000 for 23rd position in FP1.
Tomorrow’s FP3 session will be at 9:55am and then FP4 at 1:30pm followed by qualifying at 2:10pm for round 19 of the MotoGP World Championship.
Franco Morbidelli: 18th, 1’41.713, +1.946, 40 laps, 160 km
“I missed the best moment with the conditions to get a faster time”
“It was difficult day with the weather but an opportunity to understand the bike in wet conditions because I haven’t done lot of kilometres in the rain this season. It was good experience and we made some improvements but unfortunately I missed the best moment in FP2 to get a. faster time but overall a good day.”
Tom Luthi: 23rd, 1’43.000, +3.233, 36 laps, 144 km
“It was quite dangerous when the FP1 session was red flagged”
“Actually it was quite an exciting day with a lot of water on the track and it was quite dangerous when FP1 was red flagged. The main thing in FP1 was to find the limit with the amount of standing water and I could not find that limit, the bike could go faster but I wasn’t ready. In FP2 we had a lot of water at the beginning and then little less so it was important to save some of our rain tyre allocation for qualifying tomorrow.”