Márquez and Vierge primed for podium challenge in Misano
Alex Márquez qualified on the front row and Xavi Vierge will start tomorrow’s Misano Moto2 race from sixth position on an excellent day for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS in the scorching hot San Marino sunshine.
- Breezy but baking hot conditions dominated proceedings on qualifying day at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on Italy’s Adriatic Coast today. Márquez was fastest and Vierge 14th as both advanced through into Q2 after a close battle in this morning’s FP3.
- A coastal breeze picked up for FP2 and lowered the ambient temperature to 25 degrees when the decisive 15-minute Q2 commenced, with Márquez and Vierge inside the top six in a session in which the top 17 riders were divided by less than 0.8s.
Alex Marquez: 2nd, 1:37.618, 24 laps, 101 km
- Márquez was in brilliant form in this morning’s third and final practice session and a final lap of 1:37.776 put him top of the timesheets by the narrow margin of 0.026s over Fabio di Giannantonio.
- Márquez suffered a low speed crash at the first corner in the final moments of FP3 but he was unhurt and immediately able to find his blistering pace again for the crucial Q2 session.
- A stunning lap of 1:37.618 looked to have clinched Márquez a fourth pole position in the last five races but he was denied by an impressive late charge from di Giannantonio, who took his first pole position by 0.137s.
“I think we can fight for the victory and certainly be fighting for the podium”
“I’m so happy to be on the front row and close to pole because it is not a nice feeling to end FP3 with a crash. It’s difficult to go directly in Q2 without knowing where the limit is or where you can push because the track was tricky to manage this afternoon. We made a good strategy with the tyres but I couldn’t improve with the second one. I’ve been fast and consistent and that’s the most important thing. It will be a long race and we know at this track it is difficult to manage the drop with the rear tyre, so managing that will be key to the race. I think we can fight for the victory, but it is easy to make a mistake at this track and my goal is to finish in the top five and certainly be battling for the podium.”
Xavi Vierge 6th, 1:37.779, 23 laps, 97 km
- A lap of 1:38.536 took Vierge safely through into Q2 and he was only 0.4s away from the top six in a closely fought FP3 session this morning.
- With track temperature peaking at 40 degrees this afternoon, Vierge posted a hot lap of 1:37.779 to immediately leap inside the top six in Q2.
- Pushing hard to improve his pace and position, the Spanish rider was uninjured in a late fall at turn 9 and he was just over 0.1s away from his securing his first front row since Assen.
“My target is to get a good start and fight inside the top six”
“Physically I am perfect after the crash. It was my mistake but I was trying to push a bit more and I found the limit. That was the time to do it when I am pushing to be inside the top six. We have improved the bike again in Q2 and my objective was to start on the first two rows, so we have achieved that. It is going to be a very long race over 25-laps but I’ve been strong all weekend and my target is to get a good start and fight inside the top six.”