Márquez and Morbidelli sparkle at soaked Le Mans
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Álex Márquez continued his rich vein of form in Le Mans today with a dominant display to head the FP2 timesheets in France.
Oozing confidence after winning his first Moto2 World Championship race in Jerez 12 days ago, the Spaniard was close to the top three in a cool but dry FP1 session this morning.
Márquez came into his own though on a saturated new surface at the iconic Bugatti Circuit in FP2, with lashing rain earlier in the afternoon preventing any further dry track time on day one of preparations for round five of the 2017 campaign.
Measured Márquez quickly adapted to the excellent grip on offer from the new asphalt in Le Mans and at the conclusion to FP2 he’d blitzed the field by close to 0.8s with a peerless lap of 1’46.931.
The 21-year-old’s stunning wet track pace completed a day to remember for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, with Jack Miller finishing at the top of the combined standings in MotoGP.
World Championship leader Franco Morbidelli showed his versatility once again with a notable showing in today’s contrasting conditions.
A small crash at the famous Garage Vert turn this morning didn’t prevent the Italian from missing out on top spot by just 0.011s in FP1. And he was right at the sharp end again in FP2 and the narrow margin of just 0.005s denied him a place inside the top three.
With Morbidelli and Márquez demonstrating a competitive pace in both wet and dry conditions today, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS heads into the rest of the weekend confident it can retain its unbeaten start to 2017.
Franco Morbidelli: 2nd – 1’38.169
“The conditions this morning were almost completely dry and I found a decent rhythm immediately. This afternoon didn’t start in the best way and I didn’t feel very strong and able to push close to the limit. We made a modification to the bike and I was immediately happier. But I must admit that I don’t feel as strong in the rain as I did last season. We need to find a better feeling and more speed but I am convinced we will improve. It has been hard to gauge the performance of the new surface because we haven’t had ideal conditions at all today. But it is definitely less bumpy and that is a big positive.”
Álex Márquez: 10th – 1’38.767
“This morning was pretty difficult because the track conditions were not completely dry. I didn’t have full confidence and I didn’t want to push too hard and take any unnecessary risks. On the full wet track this afternoon I need to say a big thanks to my team. We did the ultimate professional job because on the first outing I didn’t feel so comfortable. We decided to adjust the bike and the feeling immediately came back very quickly and I felt super strong again like in Jerez. It was important today to build on the momentum gained from the win in Jerez and I think we have done that. Today the weather was very changeable like always in Le Mans, but I feel ready whatever conditions we have for the rest of the weekend to be fast and competitive.”