Márquez blasts to brilliant Buriram pole position
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Alex Márquez powered to his fifth pole position in the last seven Moto2 races ahead of the Thailand Grand Prix, with Xavi Vierge set for a strong top six challenge from row three.
- Constant heavy rain that drenched the 4.5km Buriram track this morning disrupted Saturday’s action, with FP3 commencing one hour later than originally scheduled and reduced to 30-minutes.
- The track was completely dry for FP3 and Márquez and Vierge took full advantage of the improved conditions to post lap times inside the top 14 that moved the Spanish duo directly into the decisive Q2 session.
- Márquez was in untouchable form once again in the 15-minute showdown to deliver a faultless lap of 1:35.297, which is the fastest lap ever by a Moto2 machine around the demanding Buriram layout.
Alex Márquez: 1st, 1:35.297, 21 laps, 96 km.
- Márquez was occupying a strong fourth place in the rankings with a time of 1:36.423 when he suffered a crash without consequences at Turn 7 with just five minutes of FP3 remaining this morning.
- Seventh on the combined standings and comfortably into Q2, Marquez seized pole position on his fifth lap of a session made complicated by a short rain shower that fell at turn three in the first qualifying session.
- Márquez kept his cool in the scorching hot conditions to set a new all-time lap record that clinched the number 73 the 14th pole position of his career by the narrow margin of 0.095s from Japan’s Tetsuta Nagashima.
“I have the possibility to try and win and like always I will be giving my maximum”
“Today had a little bit of everything with the crash this morning and then getting pole position this afternoon. I was pushing too much in FP3 and that’s why I suffered the crash but fortunately I wasn’t injured. It was a difficult Q2 as well with some wet spots at turn three where many riders crashed in Q1. I made a really good lap and while I’m happy about another pole I’m also very happy about my pace for the race. It will be a long and hard race with the heat and humidity but we have shown I have the possibility to try and win and like always I will be giving my maximum.”
Xavi Vierge: 7th, 1:35.600, 25 laps, 114 km.
- After narrowly missing out on a direct place in Q2 yesterday, Vierge made no mistake in FP3 when he set the seventh quickest time to secure 13th overall.
- Vierge’s performance this morning was outstanding, as the number 97 was one of only 10 riders in the 32-strong field to improve his lap time, despite grip levels being affected by the early morning downpour.
- He carried his impressive FP3 speed into Q2 and in a great display of team work, Vierge used Márquez ahead of him as the perfect reference to set a lap of 1:35.600, which secured him seventh on the grid.
“With the pace I have shown I can have a positive result”
“I am really happy with my performance today. The conditions were difficult this morning and that made it hard to improve the lap times but I managed it and that meant I went directly into Q2 and that was very important. I made a good lap time in Q2 as well and for that I must thank I Alex because I followed him and I want to congratulate him as well because he did an incredible job to get another pole. Seventh position to start and most importantly I’m happy with my rhythm. It will be a hard race because of the conditions and the lap times have been so close but I think with the pace I have shown I can have a positive result. Alex has the best pace of everybody and maybe he can think about escaping but behind him there are eight or nine riders with a similar pace. Now we need to wait and see what the conditions will be like because we still haven’t experienced this track in rain conditions.”