Márquez and Vierge kick off final race preparations in Valencia
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS kicked off the final chapter of a successful 2019 Moto2 World Championship campaign in positive fashion at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia today.
- Track temperature this morning only reached a chilly maximum of nine degrees, but Márquez and Vierge both ended the opening 45-minute session inside the top 10.
- A big increase in track temperature to 18 degrees for the second session this afternoon helped lap times improve and Márquez led the Marc VDS challenge with a pace only 0.3s away from the top three at the close of play.
Alex Márquez: 13th, 1:35.587, 40 laps, 160 km
- Boosted by his second position in the Sepang race which crowned him World Champion for the second time in his career, Márquez made a solid start this morning with a lap of 1:36.193 placing him 10th.
- Working to find more grip in cool and cloudy conditions, Márquez made a big improvement this afternoon to end day one with a personal best time of 1:35.587, despite suffering with a heavy head cold.
- FP2 was a typically close affair and Márquez was only 0.3s away from the top three yet again to secure 13th position, which claimed the number 73 a provisional place in Q2.
“Myself and the team are here to work hard and fight for pole position”
“It wasn’t an easy day today. I feel a lot more relaxed after winning the World Championship in Malaysia but I was still able to keep my focus and work hard to improve throughout the day. This afternoon I felt better but I was suffering quite a lot with a lack of rear grip. But I’m confident we can make a big step which we need to do because I’m quite far away from the top group. It seems in low grip conditions like in Phillip Island that KTM has the advantage but myself and the team are here to work hard and get closer to fight for pole position.”
Xavi Vierge: 20th, 1:36.042, 34 laps, 136 km
- Vierge started this weekend’s action full of confidence after a season best ride to fourth last time out in Malaysia and he was one of the strongest men on track this morning with a quickest lap of 1:36.128 placing him ninth.
- Unhurt after a small crash at turn six this morning, Vierge quickly found a fast rhythm again during FP2 and lapped consistently in the 1:36 bracket again.
- The Spaniard saved his best for last and his final lap of the 4km Ricardo Tormo Circuit was his fastest of the day and placed him 20th on the combined leader board.
“I am sure we can make significant progress tomorrow”
“I can’t be happy with how this first day in Valencia ended. I felt quite good in FP1 and felt we needed to improve my feeling in the final phase of braking for this afternoon. We made quite a big change to the set-up of the bike and for me unfortunately it didn’t bring the improvement we expected. Now we know which direction to take and I’m sure we can make significant progress tomorrow.”