Franco Morbidelli twelfth overall on Friday in Thailand
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider was on the early pace with teammate Tom Luthi placing twenty second overall on the opening day of practice.
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders Franco Morbidelli and Tom Luthi began preparations of the Thailand Grand Prix in hot and tropical conditions at the 4.5 km Buriram circuit.
Franco Morbidelli was 15th in the FP1 session before making an impressive step forward to finish 12th overall and just 0.2s outside the top ten in FP2. Using the base of the pre-season test Morbidelli was quickly on the pace with a focus on checking tyre performance with 54 degree track temperatures.
Tom Luthi completed FP1 in 22nd position and then continued to work on set-up options and evaluate tyres for Sunday’s race. Despite a pleasing 0.7s faster lap time in the afternoon session the Swiss rider stayed 22nd overall for the day.
Tomorrow’s FP3 session will be at 9:55am and then FP4 at 1:30pm followed by qualifying at 2:10pm.
Franco Morbidelli: 12th, 1’31,647, + 0.557, 45 laps, 202 km
“I rode with more freedom with the experience of the pre-season test”
“I spent a lot time checking tyre performance because we have four choices here and it will be important to make the correct decision for the race. We also improved some things on the bike compared to the pre-season test so a good day overall. I rode with more freedom because of the the experience from the test here.”
Thomas Luthi: 22nd, 1’32,661 +1.571, 42 laps, 189 km
“It will be a tough race both for riders and tyres”
“It was a little frustrating to improve my time in FP2 but stay in the same position overall. I had a much better feeling with the bike in the afternoon but we will keep working to make another step in qualifying tomorrow. We did a lot of runs today with the tyres but we still need to be faster. FP2 was really hot and it will be tough race both for riders and the tyres.”