Márquez and Mir battle tricky conditions in Argentina
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Álex Márquez and Joan Mir battled low grip conditions on the opening day of practice for the Grand Prix of Argentina.
The morning FP1 session was conducted on a dry but dusty track and then rain showers made conditions tricky for the later FP2 session. Lap times today were upwards of 1.5s slower than the circuit record.
Márquez finished fifth overall but still has work to do to reach his personal best lap time at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, which has been partially re-surfaced.
Joan Mir finished the day 11th fastest as he prepares for his first Moto2 race at this track but the young Spaniard was just 0.5s off the front pace in a tightly bunched group of riders.
Álex Márquez: 5th – 1.44.802
“Overall I am happy with the opening day. The grip level was low in FP1 and I did not use the soft tyre like many others and also our set-up was not perfect for the conditions. In FP2 I went faster on the harder tyre despite the much stronger wind and track conditions. Tomorrow we will try the soft tyre and hope to make another step for qualifying.”
Joan Mir: 11th – 1’45.022
“In FP2 we tried a different set-up but it was not the right direction so my time was faster from FP1 but now we have a good starting point for tomorrow. I am hoping to improve turning and also the grip which is maybe a little worse now on the section with the new surface, but it is the same for everyone.”
Naoya Kaneko: Álex Márquez Crew Chief
“The conditions were tricky today in the low grip conditions so we did a comparison with last year’s data to find a good direction for the weekend. We are trying to give Álex more stability on corner entry, his best lap time is 0.7s down on his fastest from last year. By the race on Sunday I think lap times will be faster than last year because the track has less bumps with the new surface and it is always in a dirty condition for Friday.”