Márquez defends championship with solid eighth place
Alex Márquez secures 8 crucial points for his championship challenge in a tough race at Phillip Island, as Xavi Vierge crashes out of 5th place.
- After a tricky qualifying day, which saw Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team-mates Alex Márquez and Xavi Vierge contended with 60kph winds, more settled conditions and ambient temperatures of 15 degrees greeted the riders for the 25-lap Moto2 race at Phillip Island.
- In a difficult encounter, Xavi Vierge suffered an unfortunate fall on lap 4 while Márquez, suffering more than expected, had the championship in mind as he secured an important 8th place.
Alex Márquez, 8th, +10.055s.
- Márquez started the day well, showing promising speed in the morning warm-up session by posting the seventh fastest time (1’33.195), 0.262s slower than pace setter Brad Binder.
- The championship leader started well from 6th on the grid and passed two riders on lap one.
- But Márquez soon realised his feeling on the bike wasn’t ideal, and he spent the remainder of the race in the middle of an exciting 8-rider fight for 5th place.
- Alex eventually finished 8th, 10.055s back of race winner Binder. His championship lead over Thomas Luthi, third in today’s race, now stands at 28 points.
“We’ll forget this. Malaysia is a completely different situation”
“It was more complicated than what we expected. We didn’t have good rhythm from the beginning. I was in a big group fighting and lost many seconds because of that. But in the end when you don’t have the rhythm, or you don’t feel good on the bike it is what it is. I was suffering a little bit, trying to overtake but it was difficult for me. I think we achieved good points for the championship but we need to make a step for Malaysia. We are not far. Here was a difficult weekend for everybody. We’ll forget this. Malaysia is a completely different situation and feeling so I’ll try to push from the beginning and try to be fast.”
Xavi Vierge, DNF
- After starting brilliantly from 14th on the grid, 22-year old Vierge passed eight riders on the first lap to sit 6th.
- Vierge soon overtook team-mate Márquez and started to chase down the first three riders that had built up a 1.4 second advantage during the first two laps.
- But the Spaniard’s race came to an unfortunate end on the 4th lap when he lost the front end of his Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex at turn 4.
“I felt I could go with the front guys but I made a mistake”
“On one side it was a positive day, but on the other it was negative. The good point is that from yesterday to this morning we made some adjustments to the base and it was so bad. This is good to know for the future so we don’t try it at other tracks. Finally for the race we made the correct decision and started with the base we know is the best one. I felt really good from the beginning. It’s a pity because I felt I could go with the front guys but I made a mistake and crashed. I want to say sorry to the team because we could have fought for the podium. Like I said, we need to take the positive things from today. We have things clear for the last two races of the championship and I hope we can do a good job to finish the season.”
Joan Olivé, Team Manager
“This result just gives us more motivation for Malaysia”
“It has ben a difficult Sunday for Alex because he could not run the pace he did during FP2 and the warm-up. We struggled more than we expected in the race. In any case, we come away from Phillip Island still leading the championship. This result just gives us more motivation for Malaysia, to get back to our level and show everyone that we are ready to fight. Regarding Xavi, he had a really good start. He was in the top 5 and we knew he could be really fast. But unfortunately at turn 4 he crashed. All the team is now looking forward to Sepang next weekend, when we will try to start Friday in a strong way.”