Márquez and Morbidelli chase speed in Valencia
The final Moto2 showdown of an unforgettable season for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS got off to a steady start at the Ricardo Tormo track in Valencia today.
Álex Márquez capitalised on pleasantly sunny and warm conditions to post the second best time in FP1 this morning with a lap of 1’36.060 that was only surpassed by in-form Miguel Oliveira.
Dividing his time on track between searching for a race set-up in advance of Sunday’s 27-lap race and evaluating concepts Kalex is considering for the 2018 World Championship campaign, the Spaniard lapped a fraction faster in FP2 to finish fifth overall.
Márquez was less than 0.1s away from the top three and he firmly believes he can battle for a third win on Spanish soil this season.
New World Champion Franco Morbidelli worked tirelessly throughout the day to try and gain more rear grip ahead of his final Moto2 appearance on Sunday before transferring to the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS MotoGP squad next season.
The Italian was fifth fastest this morning but he slipped down the order to eighth position at the end of FP2, having lapped just six-thousandths-of-a-second slower than in the 45-minute afternoon session.
Álex Márquez: 5th – 1.36.038
“Today was quite good but we definitely have some margin to improve. Fifth is not so bad and we spent a lot of time today working with Kalex with one eye already on 2018. But we are also concentrated on this race and I want to finish the season on a high. And I would love to win in Spain again. My biggest problem is setting one fast lap but in general my rhythm in race trim is strong. I’m enjoying being out on the bike and having fun and that is my main goal this weekend after a difficult recent period.”
Franco Morbidelli: 8th – 1’36.240
“We can’t hide from the fact that today was a bit more of a struggle than we anticipated. We need to understand what is causing us the biggest issues but right now we are lacking grip. It didn’t seem to make a difference with the warmer temperatures this afternoon because my lap time was almost identical in FP2. There was less wind this morning and that made it a little bit easier to ride but I am not too worried. We’ve been in this situation before and we have always found our way out of it, so I am confident we can make big improvements for the rest of the weekend.”