Márquez and Vierge satisfied with start in sunny Spielberg
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Alex Marquez and Xavi Vierge ended the opening day of practice at the fast and picturesque Red Bull Ring confident with their race pace but seeking more one-lap speed for qualifying after setting the 15th and 18th best times.
- After a misty and cloudy start, the two 45-minute practice sessions took place in gloriously sunny conditions and ambient temperatures peaked at a sweltering 32 degrees.
- The ideal conditions allowed Márquez and Vierge to work extensively on race set-up for Sunday’s 25-lap encounter and they finished 15th and 18th respectively on the combined leaderboard.
- Márquez and Vierge will be back in action tomorrow morning at 1055am for the third and final practice session ahead of qualifying.
Alex Márquez: 14th, 1:29.537, 43 laps, 186 km.
- Full of confidence after a sensational win in Brno five days ago, Márquez topped the timesheets for a spell in FP1 before finishing ninth fastest with a pace of 1’29.537.
- The Spaniard also led FP2 in the early stages but with track temperature soaring to a sizzling 49 degrees, it was a complicated challenge to gain the crucial tenths needed to secure a provisional place in Q2.
- Márquez missed the Q2 cut-off by one place but he’s confident he can still move into the second qualifying session tomorrow in his bid to claim three poles in a row for the first time in his career.
“With used tyres, I have really good grip and a strong rhythm”
“We always work hard for the race on a Friday and this morning I felt good. That allows you to make more experiments with the set-up in the afternoon. We did that because this track is very peculiar and if strange settings will work anywhere it is here, so we tried something quite different. With used tyres, I have really good grip and a strong rhythm but on fresh rubber I didn’t make a good lap. For FP3 tomorrow we will go back to the set-up from this morning when I felt more comfortable and I’m confident I’ll be able to go directly in Q2.”
Xavi Vierge: 18th, 1:29.618, 43 laps, 186 km
- Vierge used both rear Dunlop tyre options this morning to challenge close to the top six in a session in which 25 riders were split by just 0.970s.
- Thirteenth at the end of FP1, Vierge’s main objective in the second session was gaining speed in the crucial fourth sector and he demonstrated good progress by improving his time to a 1’29.618 in the most demanding conditions of the day.
- That placed the number 97 in 18th position overall but he was only 0.4s away from the top three in yet another super competitive session.
“The good thing is we completely understand where we have to improve for tomorrow”
“It was quite a positive start this morning when my feeling on the bike was not so bad. We tried to gain some time afternoon over one fast lap but it is difficult because everybody makes a jump. My pace is not bad for the race but for the tenths we need to find I need to improve rear grip. Missing that rear grip means I have to turn a bit later but the good thing is we completely understand that is the area where we have to improve for tomorrow.”