Márquez and Morbidelli build confidence on day two in Qatar

Márquez and Morbidelli build confidence on day two in Qatar

Losail, Qatar – 18 March 2016: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez are primed for top ten performances in qualifying after strong performances in free practice at the Losail International Circuit.

Morbidelli and Marquez were separated by just 0.2s following the completion of the three free practice sessions for the Qatar Grand Prix.

On combined rankings Morbidelli (10th) and Marquez (11th) are both within 0.7s of the fastest time.

The closeness of the times has set the scene for a highly competitive qualifying session tomorrow when the first Moto2 pole position of the 2016 season will be up for grabs.

Morbidelli used today's third free practice session to concentrate on race pace and completed 20 laps in the 45-minute session. While 12th in today's final practice session Morbidelli's impressive time of 1'59.896 from Thursday put him 10th overall.  

Marquez was also focussed on improving consistency for the race in the final free practice session and despite being slowed by a chatter issue in his final run on a new tyre. The Spanish rider was a strong 10th in FP3 and 11th overall ahead of Saturday qualifying.

Álex Márquez: 10th – 2'00.032
“I felt really good at the start of the session and we made a good step with tyres and race set-up. But in my second long run we made some changes and had some chatter and then on my final exit on a new tyre it was a little worse so we need to understand that issue. But I'm confident of doing a really good job in qualifying if we go back and work from our base set-up.”

Franco Morbidelli: 12th – 2'00.282
“My plan in the final free practice session was to make a lot of laps and try build up my pace for the race and we made some good progress. I'm really happy with my performance. We still have some ideas for set-up changes to improve for the race but overall today was really good and I think we can be competitive in both qualifying and the race.”

Naoya Kaneko: Marquez Chief Mechanic
“Álex made a good step forward with his consistency and found a few tenths improvement on his race pace. But at the end of the session today the gap to the fastest time was not as close as we expected so we need to analyse the reasons for that.”