Márquez and Morbidelli dominate Valencia qualifying
The final qualifying session of the 2017 Moto2 World Championship ended perfectly for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, with Álex Márquez and Franco Morbidelli storming to a sensational 1-2 in Valencia this afternoon.
Márquez powered his Kalex machine to a faultless early lap of 1.35.050 that was less than 0.2s away from being the fastest ever Moto2 lap of the 4.005km Ricardo Tormo track.
His stunning early speed was never bettered in a 45-minute session that took place under clear blue skies and temperatures that hit a warm 24 degrees, as Márquez claimed his third pole position on home soil this season.
He is understandably supremely confident he can repeat his success from pole position in Jerez and Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya where he took fantastic victories earlier this season.
The biggest threat to Márquez emerged from his teammate Franco Morbidelli, who claimed his 14th front row start of the campaign this afternoon.
Morbidelli made a big breakthrough with improving rear grip this morning and a difficult opening day was quickly forgotten when a lap of 1.35.600 put him fastest in FP3.
The Italian picked up his pace by almost half-a-second in qualifying but his hopes of a seventh pole position of the season were denied by just 0.065s.
Today’s result means Márquez and Morbidelli have started on the front row together in 10 races this season, and today’s 1-2 was the fifth of the campaign for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS alongside Qatar, Jerez, Mugello and Sachsenring.
Álex Márquez 1st 1’35.050
“I felt feel really strong on the bike here in Valencia and I think I was able to demonstrate that in qualifying today. Coming here I felt relaxed and free from nerves and I was always confident I could fight for pole position. I have nothing to lose tomorrow and I will be going out and giving 100% in front of my home crowd to win the race and finish the season on a positive note. I know that special feeling to win in front of the home crowd this year and I want that taste again. I’ll sleep well now tonight and give full gas tomorrow!”
Franco Morbidelli 2nd 1’35.115
“I’m satisfied to be on the front row of the grid and it should be a nice fight to end the season because many of us have a similar pace for the race. I didn’t quite make the pole but a front row is a good way for me to leave Moto2, but an even better way to leave will be with a strong race tomorrow and then I can think about my MotoGP debut on Tuesday, which is obviously very exciting.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Today’s qualifying session was perfect for us and it is always a special feeling when you have a Spanish rider like Álex taking a pole position in front of his home crowd. He’s done it before this year in Jerez and Catalunya and we know he could go on and win the race, so we hope history repeats itself again tomorrow. Franco is also highly motivated because he wants to move to MotoGP with a ninth win under his belt and I think we can see a very nice race between them for the win tomorrow. If we can get another 1-2 tomorrow that would be the dream finish to a wonderful year.”