Márquez and Morbidelli start strong in close Misano practice
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez posted competitive lap times in an incredibly close start to Moto2 practice at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli today.
Morbidelli and Márquez ended 10th and 13th respectively on the combined timesheets today, but both were less than half-a-second away from the top three.
Morbidelli was able to improve his pace by 0.6s in baking hot conditions in FP2 this afternoon, as the Italian made a solid start to preparations for his vital home round.
The 21-year-old is based just a stone’s throw away from the 4.2km track, which sits close to the popular Adriatic Coast, and he is eager to continue the best run of form in his career in front of a passionate home crowd on Sunday.
Morbidelli has finished on the podium in three of the last five races and with confidence sky high after his tremendous ride to second just five days ago in Silverstone, Morbidelli is optimistic that he will be right in contention for a first home podium.
The Moto2 field had to contend with gruelling hot conditions under blue and sunny skies for FP2, but it was a productive session for Márquez, who improved by 0.5s.
The Spanish rider was happy with his rhythm and consistency on worn tyres and that bodes well for another strong top six challenge from the 20-year-old.
With extremely hot conditions predicted for the rest of the weekend, tyre life will be crucial and the experience Márquez gained today on used rubber will be invaluable for the 26-lap race.
Franco Morbidelli: 10th – 1’38.489
“Today I wasn’t as fast as I expected. I was struggling with the balance of the bike and we will try and find some improvements tomorrow. The gap to the top three is not very big and we have got important data to find more performance from the bike for the remainder of the weekend. This is a very important race for me and I have a lot of support, so I’m determined to be faster and more competitive in qualifying tomorrow and the race on Sunday.”
Álex Márquez: 13th – 1’38.538
“I am happy with my performance today. The position doesn’t look that great but I’m not too far off the top three and we know we can make some improvements tomorrow. We improved throughout today and I’ve felt so good on used tyres and that will be crucial in the hot conditions on Sunday when tyre endurance will be key. I am sure we do a good job tomorrow and I am looking forward to a strong race.”