Márquez inside top ten on tricky Phillip Island day
Alex Márquez overcame a fall at the start of FP1 to end the first day of free practice at Phillip Island with the 8th fastest time as Xavi Vierge proved to be fast and consistent in morning wet conditions.
- Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team-mates Alex Márquez and Xavi Vierge were greeted by heavy rain and low ambient temperatures of 15 degrees for FP1 on Friday morning.
- With rain forecast for Saturday, it was crucial for both riders to work on race set-up during the dry, windy FP2 session, when Márquez and Vierge were 8th and 21st respectively.
Alex Márquez: 8th, 1'33.675, 36 laps, 160 km
- Friday began in complicated fashion for Márquez, who crashed at low speed at turn 4 on his 1st lap in FP1.
- With minimum damage to his bike, he soon returned to track and posted the 9th fastest time, confirming a good feeling in the wet.
- Márquez posted two long runs in the dry FP2 session where he set the 8th fastest time of the day, 0.665s slower than pace setter Martin. He is now virtually classified for Q2.
“We can be quite happy, but we need to make another step”
“It wasn’t an easy day, especially in the morning, when the conditions were wet. It looks like tomorrow will be a little bit worse. I’m happy to have ridden in the wet and also in the dry so I feel ready for both conditions. In the wet we did a good job. I crashed on the first lap but then we rebuilt the feeling quite well. That was important for us. Then in the afternoon it was crucial to be inside the top 14 for Q2 because tomorrow will be completely wet. We did some steps compared to last year here. Still, something is missing, especially in terms of rhythm when compared to the KTMs and [Jorge] Navarro’s Speed Up. I think we can be quite happy, but we need to make a step, not only on the bike but also with me.”
Xavi Vierge, 21st, 1'34.291, 35 laps, 156 km
- Vierge was showing excellent speed and control in the wet FP1, setting the 4th fastest time. Unfortunately he suffered a crash at T10 in the final moments of the session.
- Despite feeling some pain in his back, Vierge was back on track in FP2 thanks to the brilliant, efficient work of his Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS crew who quickly rebuilt the bike.
- After posting 20 laps, Vierge was the 21st fastest rider in FP2, only 0.2s from the Top14. He will now try to recover from his back pain to ensure he is physically ready for Saturday’s action.
“After the crash my feeling on the bike was strange”
“It was a really difficult day. This morning in wet conditions the track was super slippery. Lap by lap I started to get a good feeling. It’s a pity because in one of the last laps of FP1 I had a big high-side. I felt a bit of pain in my back after that. The team did an amazing job to repair everything for FP2, but my feeling on the bike was strange. Anyway, I want to say thanks to the team. We were only two tenths off passing through to Q2. But the most important thing is I could ride. Now I’ll relax a bit and we’ll see if I am ready for tomorrow.”