Márquez continues fast form at magnificent Mugello
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS duo Alex Márquez and Xavi Vierge declared themselves satisfied with progress made on a positive and productive first day of practice in Italy.
- The spectacular Tuscany mountains provided the picturesque backdrop for the opening day of the Italian Grand Prix at the breathtaking 5.2 km Mugello track.
- With ambient temperatures of 22 degrees this morning and 23 degrees this afternoon, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders took full advantage of the dry and warm conditions to work exclusively on their race set-up.
- With less than one second covering the top 18 on the combined standings, Márquez placed eighth overall and Vierge 16th.
- With sunny conditions predicted for tomorrow’s FP3 session, both Márquez and Vierge are confident they can advance directly into the all-important Q2, which starts at 15.30pm local time.
Alex Márquez: 8th, 1:52.555, 29 laps, 152 km.
- Fresh from his dominant victory in Le Mans and successful two-day test in Barcelona, Márquez quickly took control of proceedings this morning, with an early 1’53.174 putting him on top of the timesheets in FP1.
- Márquez improved by the big margin of 0.6s and his final flying lap of 1’52.555 secured him an excellent second position behind Luca Marini, who was only 0.041s faster than the in-form Spaniard.
- A small crash at the San Donato turn one in FP2 denied Márquez the chance to improve his pace this afternoon, but he was less than 0.1s outside of the top six overall.
- Not only was Márquez satisfied with his one-lap pace, but his race rhythm was one of the fastest and most consistent of the 32-strong field in Mugello throughout today.
“We know the way to follow and improve”
“Today has been a good day and it is always nice to ride at this great track. We struggled a little more than I expected but it’s always tricky to manage the bike on the bumps. This morning I felt strong but for FP2 we made a set-up change to improve stability that didn’t really work how we hoped. And the crash was not the best thing to keep working to the plan we had set because it cost me some time on track. It was my mistake but only a small crash but the bigger issue was the time lost trying to get the bike started again. We know the way to follow and improve and I’m sure we can make a step tomorrow morning when we need to make a time attack to remain in Q2. I’m happy with my pace on used tyres and this makes me confident for the race.”
Xavi Vierge: 16th, 1:52.782, 35 laps, 186 km.
- Vierge took to the track in gloriously sunny conditions this morningwith the specific goal of fine-tuning the base set-up which helped him to a successful recent test in Barcelona.
- The Spaniard felt immediately confident and comfortable with the set-up modifications and he lapped within 0.5s of the top 10 in FP1.
- Vierge was in brilliant form again during FP2 and he improved by a full second to close day one with a fastest lap of 1’52.782.
- That put the number 97 in 16th position but only 0.3s away from fourth position on a day which saw Triumph’s new 765cc engine break the magic 300kph mark for the first time in the Moto2 era.
“I preferred to do all my laps alone to understand the bike for the race “
“I felt really good on track today and the most important thing is I could work a lot on my race pace. I preferred to do all my laps alone to understand the bike for the race and I didn’t use a slipstream, which we know is very important to make a fast lap time in Mugello. Tomorrow is the day to make a faster lap time and I’m sure we can do this. When you look at the times I am very close to the top six and this shows today the work the team and I did was very positive. I feel the area we have taken a good step forward is with rear grip after the two-day test in Barcelona. We made another step after FP1 this afternoon and now I feel really good with the bike coming out of the corner.”