Márquez ready to race despite rain disrupted final test in Jerez
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Álex Márquez declared himself ready for the start of the 2018 season, despite adverse weather disrupting all three days of the final Moto2 preseason test at the Jerez circuit in Spain.
Márquez was only able to complete two sessions on the opening day, in less than ideal conditions, before rain brought a premature end to proceedings. Day two started well, with the sun initially making an appearance above the Jerez circuit, but a red flag and plunging track temperatures in the afternoon meant that testing was again limited to just two sessions.
The third and final day was a complete wash out, with Márquez not even turning one lap as intermittent rain meant that the track never dried completely.
Despite the disruption, Márquez managed to complete a limited test schedule, working with his crew and the Kalex technical staff to evaluate changes to the suspension and geometry on the 2018 bike, ready for the opening race of the season.
The inclement conditions also meant that Márquez never got the chance to match his blistering pace at the previous Jerez test, where he topped the timesheet with an incredible lap time of 1'40.926.
Márquez was the sole representative of Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS in Jerez, as Joan Mir opted to sit out the test after sustaining an injury to his right shoulder in a training accident.
Instead the reigning Moto3 World Champion remained at home in Mallorca, where he has been undergoing an intensive course of physiotherapy in preparation for his Moto2 debut in Qatar next week.
Álex Márquez: 1'42.161
“Despite the problems with the weather, I'm really happy with what we've achieved here at Jerez. On the second day, the best of the three weather wise, we managed to get quite a lot done, taking a lot of conclusions about our direction with the set up, which is really good for the first race in Qatar. Sure, some more dry track time would have been better but it was the same for everyone. Now we head to Qatar and the first race of the season in a good position, but we need to continue working during the first free practice sessions next weekend. Qatar is a peculiar track, which we need to adapt to, and we know there are going to be even more riders challenging at the front this season, but I'm feeling confident ahead of the first race.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“The weather hasn't been kind to us again this year, with less than ideal conditions at all three preseason tests in Spain. It's the second season that the weather has played a big part and maybe it's time to start looking for an alternative preseason testing location, especially as we'll be racing with different engines for the first time in 2019. Despite the weather disruptions we are in a good position going into the new season, with Álex instrumental in the development of the 2018 Kalex and Joan quickly adapting to the demands of Moto2 despite missing the final test through injury. We're ready for the first race and I'm looking forward to the season ahead.”