Márquez masters mixed conditions to take brilliant Brno pole position
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS star Alex Márquez implemented a perfect tyre strategy to claim pole position in a tense and dramatic Moto2 qualifying session in Brno, with Xavi Vierge poised to start round 10 from the fifth row of the grid.
- Brno’s famed fast drying asphalt meant Márquez and Vierge were still able lap on slick tyres in an FP3 session which started on a damp surface after torrential early morning rain.
- The short window of dry track time available allowed Vierge to join Márquez into Q2 after he’d finished in 18th position at the end of a full dry day of action on Friday.
- Q2 also commenced on a damp track but intermittent heavy rain held off sufficiently for Márquez and his crew to gamble on switching to slick tyres to set up a nail-biting finale to the 15-minute showdown.
- Márquez proved his slick tyre switch was a tactical masterstroke and he will aim to record the 100th podium in the 10-year history of Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS from pole position in the 19-lap race due to get underway at 1220pm local time.”
Alex Márquez: 1st, 2:06.787, 17 laps, 92 km
- Márquez waited patiently inside the garage until the final 18 minutes of a damp FP3 session before making his first exit to finish with the ninth fastest time of 2’02.204.
- The Spaniard started his attack for pole position in tricky conditions for Q2 on Dunlop’s rain rubber before taking the brave decision to switch to slicks with a clear dry line emerging in the final minutes.
- Márquez then produced a masterclass of measured riding in treacherous conditions to set a stunning pace of 2’06.787 on his final flying lap to secure pole by the huge margin of 2.018s over Sam Lowes.
- It is the first time in his career that Márquez has claimed back-to-back pole positions and he is confident of fighting for a fifth win in the last six races to extend his eight-point lead in the standings over Tom Lüthi.
“My crew did an amazing job to change the tyres very quickly”
“The conditions were really tricky at the start of Q2. We started with wet tyres but I quickly understood it was not possible to improve the lap time. Already on the second lap I was struggling a lot and I took the decision to switch to the slicks. My crew did an amazing job to change the tyres very quickly and that was key because it gave me the chance to have at least two flying laps to attack for pole. It was the perfect strategy and I’ve felt good all weekend with the slick tyres. I’ve had good pace and I can maintain a fast pace until the last laps. The key tomorrow will be the last 10 laps but I think we are ready for that and it will be important to collect valuable points to continue our good mood heading to Austria next weekend.”
Xavi Vierge: 14th, 2:13.751, 19 laps, 103 km
- Vierge accomplished his first mission of the day in stunning style when a lap of 2’02.058 put him sixth at the end of a weather disrupted FP3 and 12th on combined standings to advance into Q2.
- Less than 0.2s outside of the top three this morning, Vierge was in determined mood to battle for a top 10 place on the grid going into Q2.
- The spectacular 5.4km Brno track was still littered with damp patches at the start of Q2 but once dry enough to risk slick tyres, Vierge unfortunately missed the crucial window of opportunity to switch.
- His best lap of 2’13.751 put him 14th after he finished just a whisker away from reaching the top 10.
“My objective is to fight for the top five”
“Overall I’m quite happy with how today went. I had good pace in dry conditions and it looks like the race tomorrow will be dry, so I feel confident. I was strong in FP3 and make a good step forward to move into Q2. The qualifying session was very tough because the conditions were so difficult to manage. It was wet but after a few laps conditions improved and some riders took profit of their decision to go out on slick tyres. I don’t think 14th position on the grid is too bad and I need to stay calm and show my strong pace in the dry again like I did today. My objective is to fight for the top five.”