Márquez makes stunning return to action in Misano
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS kicked off the most intense and important phase of the Moto2 World Championship in San Marino today, with Alex Márquez a superb second on the timesheets and Xavi Vierge a strong challenger for the top 10.
- The first of seven races in 10 weeks to decide the 2019 Moto2 World Championship commenced under clear blue skies and scorching late summer temperatures at the 4.2km Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli today.
- As always, the competition was close and intense in both 45-minute sessions and just 0.9s split the leading 23 riders at the end of FP2 with World Championship leader Márquez an excellent second position on the combined leaderboard.
- Hot conditions are anticipated again for tomorrow’s action and Márquez and Vierge will fight for an automatic place in Q2 when the third and final practice session commences at 1055am local time.
Alex Márquez: 2nd, 1:38.374, 40 laps, 169 km
- Márquez immediately capitalised on the good work completed during a recent private test session in Misano to finish just 0.2s away from the top three this morning with a quickest pace of 1:39.082.
- Márquez needed just three laps of FP2 to break into the 1.38s for the first time and from that point he was a constant contender for top spot on the Adriatic Coast.
- The number 73 made excellent progress throughout the second 45-minute session and a blistering last lap attack of 1:38,374, which shaved an impressive 0.7s off his earlier pace, put him second behind Silverstone winner Augusto Fernandez.
“I had a good feeling on the bike and I was in a good rhythm”
“It was a very positive first day and I had a good feeling on the bike and I was in a good rhythm. We have a small advantage having done the test but today confirmed the good work we did on the set-up, although we had to change the bike a little bit because the grip levels are not the same as when we tested. I can improve my riding style in sectors one and four tomorrow morning but in general I’m happy and the team did good work all day.”
Xavi Vierge: 15th, 1:38.946, 36 laps, 152 km
- Round 13 got off to a flying start for the number 97, whose speed and confidence quickly came to the fore with a lap of 1:39.052 placing him in sixth position at the end of FP1.
- The number 97 put up another strong fight for the leading places in FP2 and he improved his pace to a 1:38.946.
- Vierge was within a whisker of the crucial top 14 but he missed out on a provisional place in Q2 by the narrow margin of 0.072s.
“We know the way to follow and I’m sure we can make another step”
“I’m happy with how today went because after we tested here recently we had some other ideas to try. One of them was very positive and I improved a lot but we made a second change that didn’t create the positive step we hoped for. It was a step in the wrong direction but I’m happy we tried it today because now we know the way to follow and I’m sure we can make another step tomorrow.”